special-event-il-divo-mar-4thGiulio Andreotti, Italian Prime Minister seven times between 1972 and 1992, was once described by Margaret Thatcher as having “a positive aversion to principle”. This stylish film, with an inscrutable performance from Toni Servillo as Andreotti, certainly has a complex plot but is cinematically extremely rewarding, even if you have only the dimmest notion of Italian politics. “An extraordinarily sinister portrait [of] Italy’s most significant politician of the post-war period” – Anthony Quinn, Independent on Sunday. (Cert 15)
Dir: Paolo Sorrentino 114 mins Italy 2008

Tonight’s screening will be introduced by Alex Marlow-Mann, a specialist in Italian cinema, visiting ABCD for the second time. The screening will start at 7.30 p.m.


“Stylish and compelling”

“Brilliantly done – tested our reading abilities to the limit!”

“Talk about tense – now please hand me the Paracetamol!”

“Excellent as a film but also as historical data – it brought back vivid memories of when I was in Italy at that time.”

“Fascinating, funny, frightening”

“Fascinating although difficult to follow all the characters. Poor Italy – first Andreotti, now Berlusconi!”

“Baffling but fascinating – that’s Italy [for you].”

“Brilliantly orchestrated [but] totally lacking in any emotion and hard to find anyone [in the film] who engaged my sympathies. What did Berlusconi and the present Italian government think of it?”

“Very complex and fast-moving. I lost the plot – but did I ever have it [in the first place]?”

“Once I gave up trying to follow the story, I enjoyed this stylish film very much.”

“Music particularly effective”

“Engaging, yet lengthy, political biopic that certainly had a lot of influence from American cinema. The use of Da Da Da over the end credits seemed incredibly inappropriate but actually worked well as a conclusion to [the film’s] eclectic soundtrack.”

“Interestingly filmed – molto interessante”

“High on style, the camera angles, music, etc. giving a very different and enjoyable film experience but difficult to follow …”

“Very interesting but difficult to follow, even with the excellent introduction. I’m sure [that], to someone familiar with Italian politics, it would have been even more enjoyable.”

“Even with the introduction, very difficult to follow! Andreotti walked like a zombie.”

“More interesting if there had been another assassination!”

“Confusing, both in keeping track of characters and plot plus how such an unlikeable, uncharismatic man gained so much power, but very good.”

“A very inscrutable man and proof that most good politicians get away with everything.”

“Toni Servillo [as Andreotti] reminded me of Nosferatu.”

“Lifeless power!”

“There was something of Nosferatu about the man!”

“A truly strange film. I do not know what to make of it.”

“Mr Marlow-Mann [the speaker who introduced the film] can’t have been very good because I didn’t understand any of it – not really! As he said, it didn’t matter and it was very stylish.”

“Don’t worry about the hoodies – beware the Suits!”


A:15, B:22, C:8, D:1, E:0 to give 78%