Gray may be the new black for fashion, but it’s a dull color scheme for helmer Giuliano Montaldo’s “The Entrepreneur.” Looking to emphasize the chill of Turin winters along with the deeper frigidity of the 1% industrialist class, Montaldo creates a tiresome, near-colorless world in which the occasional red contrast is too little, too late. While well played with some effective scenes, the pic resists fully engaging with its nascent capitalist critique, gumming it up with a standard jealousy tale that could have come from a hundred other scripts. No more than modest returns can be predicted.
Stressed factory owner Nicola (Pierfrancesco Favino) needs refinancing pronto to save his company, but the banks won’t help unless he gets wife Laura (Carolina Crescentini) or her venal mother (Elisabetta Piccolomini), ultra-wealthy local brahmins, to co-sign. Nicola’s pride stands in the way, and his self-isolation is straining his marriage. Laura strikes up a friendship with garage attendant Gabriel (Eduard Gabia), though she refuses his advances; Nicola spies on the two and suspects the worst. Discussions of Italy’s economic crisis and occasional scenes of workers’ protests are no more than flavor additives.