×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

At the End of the Night

After a brief flirtation with DV and Dogma, helmer Salvatore Piscicelli is on a more fluid track with his exploration of an actor's midlife crisis in "At the End of the Night." Plot uses the well-worn formula of a physical journey as a portal to inner discovery, but things stay fresh. Pic should nestle nicely into fest slots as well as Italophile screens at home.

With:
With: Ennio Fantastichini, Elena Sofia Ricci, Ida Di Benedetto, Ricky Tognazzi, Stefania Orsola Garello, Anna Ammirati, Roberto Herlitzka.

After a brief flirtation with DV and Dogma, helmer Salvatore Piscicelli is on a more fluid track with his exploration of an actor’s midlife crisis in “At the End of the Night.” Plot uses the well-worn formula of a physical journey as a portal to inner discovery, but things stay fresh thanks to first-rate script and spot-on casting. With its well-told story and satisfyingly ambiguous ending, pic should nestle nicely into fest slots as well as Italophile screens at home.

Bruno Spada (Ennio Fantastichini) is a successful actor and director whose depression makes him question his choices, past and present. He revisits the people who made him happy, but finds he has to dig deeper to understand his behavior. First stop is Tuscany and ex-g.f. Viola (Elena Sofia Ricci), who a decade earlier put the kibosh on their relationship and settled down with nice, stable Filippo (Ricky Tognazzi). Now she’s being cheated on, and Bruno’s return leads her to probe her own past.

Back in Rome, Bruno’s wife Fiamma (Stefania Orsola Garello) suggests they speed up their separation; she loves him but recognizes the marriage has been a disaster, not least thanks to his incapacity for fidelity. Always running away from emotional skirmishes, Bruno leaves for Naples and the aunt (Piscicelli regular Ida Di Benedetto) who took care of him when he was young. More inner ghosts are examined as he explores his childhood stomping grounds.

Auds familiar with Piscicelli’s previous efforts (“Immacolata and Concetta,” “Body of the Soul,” “Quartet”) will be surprised at how little flesh is exposed, but the psychological acuity he’s demonstrated before doesn’t fail him here. The superb cast members embody their characters to perfection, with Garello a marvel in an extended confrontation with her faithless husband. Scene is given space to breathe, and she conveys love, exhaustion and pain, without melodrama.

Opening shots are a technical standout, with graceful camerawork that elegantly describes space as it glides inquisitively through Bruno’s therapist’s room. Lensing throughout is accomplished, but the grace of those few minutes sticks in the memory.

At the End of the Night

Italy

Production: A Minerva Pictures release of a Centrale D'Essai production. (International sales: Gruppo Minerva Internazionale, Rome.) Produced by Enzo Gallo. Directed, written, edited by Salvatore Piscicelli.

Crew: Camera (color), Saverio Guarna; production designer, Rossella Guarna; costume designer, Nicoletta Taranta; sound (Dolby) Fulgenzio Ceccon. Reviewed at Taormina Film Festival (World Cinema), June 13, 2003. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Ennio Fantastichini, Elena Sofia Ricci, Ida Di Benedetto, Ricky Tognazzi, Stefania Orsola Garello, Anna Ammirati, Roberto Herlitzka.

More Film

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    Disney Retiring Fox 2000 Label

    Disney will stop making films under the Fox 2000 label, a move that could mean that its head Elizabeth Gabler will not be making the move to the Magic Kingdom, Variety has learned. The decision is surprising because Disney had previously stated that Gabler would stay on board at the studio even after it was [...]

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Fox Layoffs: Distribution and Marketing Leaders Out

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content