You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Never Ending Night

Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi's feature debut, "Never Ending Night." Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all.

Cast:
With: Laura Morante, Anna Bonaiuto, Galatea Ranzi, Toni Servillo.

Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural pundit and she is a literary editor — guaranteed a local distrib deal, plus published screenplay in all bookstores. However, opening B.O. barely covered the window display costs.

Three parts (“Love,” “Betrayal,” “Incest”) are connected solely by their over-dramatic lighting, as the near-motionless camera blankly registers emotions in poetic prose. Clad in shiny black Armani and Costume National, four actors deliver their lines amid barely distinguishable bits of architecture, their faces periodically cast in darkness. The normally excellent Galatea Ranzi chews the scenery as writer Amin Maalouf’s love-struck Princess of Tripoli; Toni Servillo and Morante fare slightly better as Tahar Ben Jelloun’s troubled couple plagued by thoughts of betrayal. Final section, with Bonaiuto in Hanif Kureishi’s inner dialogue of daughter/stepfather incest, feels pointless. Bad lip-synching throughout doesn’t help.

Never Ending Night

Italy

Production: An Istituto Luce release of an Istituto Luce, Betty Wrong production. Produced by Betty Wrong, Elisabetta Sgarbi. Directed, written by Elisabetta Sgarbi, based on stories by Amin Maalouf, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Hanif Kureishi.

Crew: Camera (color), Elio Bisignani; editor, Luciano Marenzoni; music, Roberto Cacciapaglia; costume designers, Angela Leggiero, Rosanna Gambini. Reviewed at Turin Film Festival (competing), Nov. 16, 2004. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Laura Morante, Anna Bonaiuto, Galatea Ranzi, Toni Servillo.

More Film

  • 12th and Clairmount Movie Review

    Film Review: '12th and Clairmount'

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

  • Sam Rockwell

    Film News Roundup: Palm Springs Festival Honors Sam Rockwell for 'Three Billboards'

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

  • Project Runway

    Weinstein Co. Feeling Pressure to Find a Buyer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day review

    'Terminator' Writing Team Adds Billy Ray to Put Final Polish on Script

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

  • Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva Starring in

    Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva Starring in Thriller 'Inherit the Viper'

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

  • Mahershala Ali Burn

    Mahershala Ali to Star in, Executive Produce Crime Thriller 'Burn'

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

  • Hermes holiday window

    Le Gentil Garcon Brings Classic Hollywood to Hermes for the Holidays

    Theatrical monologues dressed up as performance art lead to pretentious results in writer-director Elisabetta Sgarbi’s feature debut, “Never Ending Night.” Despite boasting topflight thesps Laura Morante and Anna Bonaiuto, as well an impressive literary pedigree, this uncinematic yawnfest does a disservice to all. Sgarbi’s powerful connections — her politician brother is Italy’s most famous cultural […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content