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QUIET CHAOS

Director: ANTONELLO GRIMALDI

ITALY-U.K. • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 112 MIN


CAPTURING THE FEELINGS OF FRUSTRATION AND IMMOBILITY AT THE HEART OF ITALIAN LIFE TODAY IS SOMETHING OF A NATIONAL MISSION FOR WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS. WITH QUIET CHAOS, DIRECTOR ANTONELLO GRIMALDI OFFERS ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING DESCRIPTIONS OF THIS STATE OF MALAISE AFFLICTING AN ENTIRE COUNTRY.
In adapting Sandro Veronesi’s widely popular novel, Grimaldi teams with cult actor/director Nanni Moretti (co-author of the screenplay) to create a memorable, metaphorical drama about career-minded TVTV executive Pietro (played by Moretti), who suddenly finds himself a widower with a young daughter. Emotionally unable to come to grips with his wife’s death, Pietro drops out of the office rat race and spends his days waiting for his daughter outside her school, where he observes his own life in relation to a narrowly circumscribed universe. This is the ‘quiet chaos’ of the title, reflecting Pietro’s personal withdrawal and inability to connect with his emotions and mourn the loss of his wife. At the same time, it extends to the people around him — his unstable sister (Valeria Golino), a woman he saves from drowning (Isabella Ferrari), his brother (Alessandro Gassman), and his anxiety-driven co-workers (Denis Podalydes, Charles Berling, Roman Polanski), who suspect he has secret reasons for not coming to the office while the company is going through a brutal merger.
Lightly directing a top-notch cast in some of the peak performances of their careers, Grimaldi creates a world of convincingly problematic characters around Pietro, played with charismatic naturalness by Moretti. Also of note is the film’s finely balanced music track, which incorporates songs by Radiohead, Rufus Wainwright with Paolo Buonvino’s subtle original score. The film earned a massive 18 nominations for Italy’s David di Donatello film awards. — Deborah Young.

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