a film by Ferzan Ozpetek
2010 | 110 mins | Italy
›› Loose Cannons - Mine Vaganti
coming to terms with homosexuality within the ranks, Italian style.
Loose Cannons by Ferzan Ozpetek Fans of the work of acclaimed writer and director Ferzan Ozpetek of Hamam: The Turkish Bath and Ignorant Fairies / His Secret Life fame will not be alone in delighting in this comical, compelling, if at times stereotypical variant on the eternal theme of to thy ownself, be true.

Choice words that closeted star of the show Tommaso knows only too well, having escaped the conservative mindset of his Mamma Mia styled family to live life openly as a gay man in the Italian capital, alongside lover boy Marco. Only when the Cantone pasta business is forced into partnership with the Brunetti family, a board meeting over dinner is called to seal the deal. Fearing a permanent transfer to the Villa Cantone, Tommaso plans to out himself to one and all that night, in the hope that news of gay blood in the family will be more than patriarchal figurehead Vincenzo can take, resulting in a welcome banishment to the gayety of Rome. Yet what's a boy to do when before you can utter the words "I'm gay," your brother beats you to it!

Loose Cannons by Ferzan Ozpetek As one of the many plot strands to be had, this increasingly melodramatic work through a series of lively characters, preaches the heartfelt message of "do what you want to do in life, rather than what family duty dictates." Not that this is a pulpit piece. Rather this is a mix of genres; being part farce, part romantic comedy, let alone part camp, courtesy of the arrival of boyfriend Marco and their three "couldn't play it straight, even if they were paid" friends.

With strong performances throughout, standout characters are many, with Nicole Grimaudo as sexy business partner Alba Brunetti and Elena Sofia Ricci as man-eating Aunt Luciana a pure delight in contrasting roles, leaving Ennio Fantastichini to play with increasing paranoia the head of the household, ashamed not of elder son Antonio's sexuality, but of the dishonour he views it will bring to the family name. Yet whilst Riccardo Scamarcio excels in the central role of aspiring writer Tommaso, it is Ilaria Occhini who steals the show as a caring grandmother whose remarkably non-judgmental views are by way of personal experience of un amore impossibile and here cue the film's dramatic opening, together with its surreal ending. All of which makes for an engaging, touching and beautifully executed work, on an eccentric family forced to come to terms with homosexuality within the ranks. Fun and frothy, indeed.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 18.April.2011 / UK.
screened as part of the BFI London Film Festival, 2010.
starring: Riccardo Scamarcio / Tommaso, Nicole Grimaudo / Alba, Alessandro Preziosi / Antonio,
Ennio Fantastichini / Vincenzo, Lunetta Savino / Stefania, Ilaria Occhini / the Grandmother,
Bianca Nappi / Elena, Carmine Recano / Marco, Massimiliano Gallo / Salvatore,
Paola Minaccioni / Teresa, Gianluca De Marchi / Davide, Mauro Bonaffini /
Massimiliano, Giorgio Marchesi / Nicola, Matteo Taranto / Domenico
Elena Sofia Ricci / Luciana and Gea Martire as Patrizia.
dedicated to my father / to Doriana, Vera and Stefania, always.
Copyright 2011 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #364
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