Viewers unversed in Italian politics may have a rough time with this biopic of former prime minister Giulio Andreotti, which opens with a barrage of title cards outlining key incidents and political forces in his 60-year career. Then, without so much as an establishing date, writer-director Paolo Sorrentino plunges into Andreotti's third and last term as prime minister (1989 to 1992), when his government was rocked by a bribery scandal and questions about his decades-long association with the Mafia. Saddled with heavy and unconvincing makeup, Toni Servillo (Gomorrah, The Girl by the Lake) plays the aging prime minister as a sardonic political survivor who takes the long view in appraising his ethical compromises. He's an arresting figure, and Sorrentin's flashy visual style helps to isolate Andreotti's dour, stolid form in the frame; preoccupied (to its detriment) with aggregating all the juiciest scandals of Andreotti's career, this quite reminded me of Oliver Stone's Nixon. In Italian with subtitles. 110 min.
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Writer: Paolo Sorrentino
Producer: Francesca Cima, Nicola Giuliano and Andrea Occhipinti
Cast: Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Piera Degli Esposti, Paolo Graziosi, Giulio Bosetti, Flavio Bucci, Carlo Buccirosso, Giorgio Colangeli, Alberto Cracco and Lorenzo Gioielli