Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Toronto 08 | Un Giorno perfetto by Ferzan Ozpetek

A Perfect Day |Un Giorno perfetto by Ferzan Ozpetek

Country: Italy
Year: 2008
Language: Italian
Runtime: 100 minutes
Format: Colour/35mm
Rating: 14A

Production Company: Fandango srl/Rai Cinema
Producer: Domenico Procacci
Screenplay: Sandro Petraglia, Ferzan Ozpetek, based on the novel by Melania G. Mazzucco
Production Designer: Giancarlo Basili
Cinematographer: Fabio Zamarion
Editor: Patrizio Marone
Sound: Marco Grillo
Music: Andrea Guerra
Principal Cast: Valerio Mastandrea, Isabello Ferrari, Stefania Sandrelli, Valerio Binasco, Monica Guerritore

International Sales Agent: Fandango Portobello Sales

TIFF Tags: Family Violence Women

Tapping into the terrors surrounding a messy divorce, Ferzan Ozpetek's A Perfect Day is a skilfully directed, eerily effective nightmare. Ozpetek delves deep into this common reality, touching on the pain of a husband who is not prepared to accept his wife's decision to end their marriage. The film balances this premise with the fear that envelopes a woman having to face an ex-husband who is not prepared to let go. Ozpetek's camera is used more as a self-conscious aesthetic instrument than a tool to create anxiety, and the evident elegance of his filmmaking provides us with an eloquent investigation into different states of mind.

Antonio has a job as a bodyguard and Emma, struggling to support their two children, works at a call centre. Despite the fact that life is gruelling, she is unwilling to reconstitute her failed marriage. Antonio pines for Emma and shadows her movements, and although the children want them to reunite, Emma has moved on, convinced that she has made the right decision.

But A Perfect Day is more than just a portrait of one troubled couple, and Ozpetek expands his film to provide us with a competing narrative. Juxtaposed against the disintegration of Antonio and Emma's marriage is the tale of Antonio's employer Elio Fioravanti, a politician who is trying to get re-elected. He has his own problems: an unhappy wife and a rebellious son who despises him.

Both men are tested, and both react in different ways. Children are often the battle-ground, and Antonio becomes more and more desperate as Emma's intransigence proves unshakable. Meanwhile, Elio is confronted with a different set of challenges. The denouement is disturbing and powerful. As the drama progresses toward its conclusion, a highly emotional tour de force plays out before our eyes, testing all of Ozpetek's skills as a filmmaker.

Piers Handling

Ferzan OzpetekFerzan Ozpetek was born in Istanbul and studied the history of cinema at La Sapienza Università di Roma. He also attended the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica “Silvio D'Amico” in Rome before working as an assistant director. His films include Hamam (97), Harem suaré (99), Ignorant Fairies (01), Facing Window (03), Sacred Heart (05), Saturn in Opposition (07) and A Perfect Day (08).

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