›› Tell No One - Come Non Detto / Not A Word
a film by Ivan Silvestrini.
2012 | 82 mins | Italy.
principal players: Josafat Vagni / Mattia, Monica Guerritore / Aurora, Ninni Bruschetta / Rodolfo, Valentina Correani / Samantha, Valeria Bilello / Stefania, Jose Dammert / Eduard, Andrea Rivera / Bernardo, Alan Cappelli Goetz / Christian and with Lucia Guzzardi as Mrs Iolanda Sberla and Francesco Montanari as Giacomo / Alba.
Adapted Synopsis: "Italian born Mattia is about to move to Madrid to be with his gorgeous boyfriend, Eduard. By all accounts, their relationship couldn't be more perfect, apart from one problem; that and despite assurances otherwise, Mattia has not come out to his loved ones. At least, not officially, given Mattia has given the impression to Eduard that he's not only out to one and all, but moreover his parents are united in taking pride in his sexual pride. Only what's a boy to do when into his tangled web of lies, Eduard comes calling?"
Having recently posted a review of the insightful, if equally alarming Channel 4 documentary Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I'm Gay, it seems more than appropriate that a joyous coming out work should be the order of the day and this uplifting Italian feature more than fits the bill, given Mattia is not ashamed of his homosexuality, certainly he does not seek a cure for it; rather and in a dilemma that's universal, he just does not know how to tell his parents. And here who can blame him, for cue the stereotypical Italian family patriarch and a father / husband, now divorced, who loves women as much as he loves sport, being the coach of the local rugby team. With a mother on the edge of the seemingly requisite nervous breakdown, an octogenarian grandmother obsessed with finding a job and a sister forever pregnant, courtesy of her macho mechanic of a husband, is it any surprise that Mattia seeks solace in his best friends Stefania and openly out Giacomo by day; dragalicious Alba by night. Both know his secret; that of an out and proud lie that is coming back to haunt him should Eduard get to attend his farewell dinner.
Two boys in love, in Tell No One.
Thus the stage is set for a plethora of comical asides, as director Ivan Silvestrini, alongside writer Roberto Proia, weave their touching tale around the coming out scenario. It's a genre that whilst heavily played, is nonetheless always interesting to see how it's delivered and here it's done to a captivating tee, courtesy of a series of carefully constructed Mattia's life story flashbacks that seamlessly merge with the film's present tense. Yet Silvestrini has an ace up his sleeve, namely Josafat Vagni as star of the show Mattia and an actor who here digs deep in his reserves to convey the complex emotions of a likeable young man who yearns to be out to one and all, having tried many times before. Indeed the script is but a coming out tease, with Proia ever playing with you by way of a series of scenes that build-up to what could be Mattia's coming out speech, only to pull back for the act itself until another occasion, perhaps THE occasion, presents itself.
All of which makes for one of the most spirited Italian coming out films since Ferzan Ozpetek's Loose Cannons, complimented by a fine supporting cast who delight in the comical, romantic, yet equally poignant narrative. Sure, a number of sequences are contrived, (you just knew that spare uniform would come in handy) and yes, it's complete with a clichéd medley of scenes from the scriptwriting stable; from the homophobic school jock to the spin the bottle routine. Yet it's also intercut with some passionate moments of lip-service between the boys, with Jose Dammert giving an ever so romantic turn as the love of Mattia's life, whilst Valeria Bilello is on vibrant form as Stefania; namely the best friend who wishes she could have been more. And as a film, it's played out over the closing credits, scenes that include a narrative twist to the homophobic angle of the piece. In short, this is and by no surprise, a pure feel-good delight. But it's also a cinematic message that and given my last review, clearly needs to be repeatedly voiced and in particular its "accept ourselves for what we are" heartfelt theme. Indeed, as coming out speeches go, Mattia's words are right up there with the best.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.