The one good thing about a crazy slow wintry storm is that it gives me time to watch some of my favorite indies and drift away into a dimension of golden cinema. In a rare romantic mode, I popped in one of my favorite Italian love stories, “Incantato” by Pupi Avati. This charmingly poignant film not only keeps me in love with old-school romanticism, but also with Directors who are actually passionate about cinema. Avati delivers an elegant story in operatic fashion, undoubtedly earning him his Italian Academy Award for ‘Best Director’. Set in the 1920’s of Italy (Rome & Bologna), “Incantato” tells the story of a shy but gentle Latin professor (Nello) who is desperately seeking a wife, not only for himself, but also to suffice his overbearing parents.
As the son of the Pope’s personal tailor, Nello feels the stress of being pushed into the family business and immediately start a family in order to keep the tradition going. Although Nello is timid and submissive, he has an outstanding passion for latin poems and novels, and a hidden romantic side of him dying to come forth. After his roommate tries to set him up on a few meet-cutes that do not pan out, Nello stumbles upon what seems to be love at first site with the seductive, Angela. As chance would have it, Angela is left blind after a horrific accident, yet she remains to turn heads while still completely in love with the boyfriend who left her following her new found disability. After a series of charming, funny, romantic and heartfelt events, Avati seduces viewers with an incredibly delightful picture that is absolutely captivating.
What I enjoyed most about Avati’s film is his ability to depict true love in genuine form, “Incantato” is filled with grace, beauty, complications, and anguish — and that is exactly what love is. I highly recommend this poignantly romantic film on a cozy night with your best friend, mom, sister, even boyfriend/husband (who can stand romantic foreign films) and fall in love with love.
The Chicago Tribune called it, “a funny, romantic drama” and The Los Angeles Times called it “a poignant love story, laced with tenderness and gentle humor” – and I must agree!
Sadly my beautiful surreal moment into a land of great cinema ended and I was brought back to the reality of today’s movies, such as “He’s Just Not That Into You” — sigh. Luckily my shelves are packed with great indies to keep me entertained!
** “Incantato” is best paired with a bottle of Bendella Prosecco! **
Rating: 3.5 Wine Bottles out of 4
Directed by Pupi Avati
In Italian, with English subtitles
Not rated, 103 minutes
(trailer is in italian)