The rise and fall of Italy's Fiat fiefdom could make a great movie, but "Miss F" misses the mark.

The rise and fall of Italy’s Fiat fiefdom could make a great movie, but “Miss F” misses the mark. Though a natural subject for socially-conscious helmer Wilma Labate (“My Generation”), script lacks thrust, turning characters into predictable mouthpieces rather than three-dimensional people with believable relationships. Fabulous opening using vintage footage to highlight pre-WWII optimism is juxtaposed with ’70s disillusionment but pic never recaptures that initial energy. Local play, skedded for mid-January, will generate press, but, as pic is not for auds without knowledge of Italo labor disputes, offshore prospects are slim.

Uppity Emma (Valeria Solarino, bland) comes from a southern family that still believes in Fiat management’s paternalistic promises. The mistress of kind auto exec Silvio (Fabrizio Gifuni), she’s inexplicably drawn to rough factory grunt Sergio (Filippo Timi), whose sexual power is supposedly enough to rekindle her working-class roots and cause her to toss education and career away for a spell on the picket lines. Too bad Labate sweeps aside earlier tensions for a tired formula that alternates between didacticism and romance novel. Showing more texture than the other TV-like perfs, Sabrina Impacciatore, as Emma’s level-headed sis, deserves more screen time.

Miss F

Italy

Production

A 01 Distribution release of a BiancaFilm production, in association with RAI Cinema. Produced by Donatella Botti. Directed by Wilma Labate. Screenplay, Domenico Starnone, Labate, Carla Vangelista.

Crew

Camera (color), Fabio Zamarion; editor, Francesca Calvelli; music, Pasquale Catalano; production designer, Gian Maria Cau; costume designer, Nicoletta Taranta. Reviewed at Turin Film Festival (Italian Panorama), Nov. 30, 2007. Original title: Signorinaeffe. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Filippo Timi, Valeria Solarino, Sabrina Impacciatore, Fausto Paravidino, Giorgio Colangeli, Fabrizio Gifuni, Clara Bindi, Gaetano Bruno, Luca Cusani, Marco Fubini, Veronica Gentili, Luigi Lavagetto, Ulderico Pesce, Rosa Pianeta, Franco Ravera, Alessandra Vanzi.

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