Wondrous Boccaccio | Chicago Reader

Wondrous Boccaccio

120 minutes 2015

Given the bawdiness of many tales in The Decameron, one might be surprised that writer-directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (The Night of the Shooting Stars) have included only one risque story (about a couple of wayward nuns) in their 2015 adaptation of Giovanni Boccaccio's classic. A group of bereaved youngsters flee medieval Florence to escape from the plague and, out in the countryside, console each other with fables about star-crossed lovers and dark obsessions (in the best of them a faithful swain rescues an infected woman whose husband has left her for dead). The brothers take a somber approach to the material, and the spare production design suits the stark choices facing the characters. Sometimes these attractive storytellers resemble the posed subjects of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and their comportment helps make the filmmakers' case for art and discipline over chaos and despair. In Italian with subtitles.

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