Based on a true story, Uno Bianca (2001) is a made for television movie about a inspector Valerio Maldesi, played by Kim Rossi Stuart, in coastal Rimini, Italy who becomes obsessed with finding who is in the white Uno gang after his superior is killed by them in a horrendous highway shoot out. Michele Soavi directs this mostly suspenseful film.
The White Uno gang robs at will and kills anyone who openly defies them, seemingly without fear of capture, always leaving a stolen white Fiat Uno behind. As Valerio and his partner Rocco, played by Dino Abbrescia, track down the villains, the crimes continue. They actually predict where and when a crime will take place, only to be stymied by their own job assignments.
The film details the political failings and limitations of the Italian police bureaucracy when trying to get things accomplished under pressure and without support. When they finally break the case, they are removed from it entirely by unsympathetic superiors. But, in the end, we all know that our hero will be needed to come to the fore and save the day.
I found the first half of the film a bit slow and to need some serious editing. Some moments of it kept me at the edge of my seat, but not as much as the second half of the film which was just riveting. There was no chemistry between Valerio and his wife, and that is important for the film. The remainder of the casting was great and the camera work was excellent.
This was a very enjoyable cop film, one of the better ones I’ve seen even though it is in Italian with English subtitles. Even if you don’t especially like the first disc, and find yourself saying “So what? This happens on Law & Order all the time.” Stay with it because you will like the second one much, much better. I give it
**** of five stars
The Red and the Black (Le Rouge et le Noir, 1997) tells the story of an ambitious peasant carpenter, Julien Sorel, played by Kim Rossi Stuart, in post Napoleon Bonaparte France who tries to escape his lower class upbringing by joining the clergy. He starts off tutoring Latin to the son of a Mayor, but falls in love with the Mayor’s wife, played by Carole Bouquet. They have a secret tryst. Close to being discovered, he goes off to seminary where he is unhappy and unpopular because he is smarter than his peers. On the recommendation of his mentor, a former abbot at the seminary, he is hired by a nobleman in Paris as a secretary. There, he falls for the nobleman’s daughter, played by Judith Godrèche. He impregnates her, and as one might imagine, this does not go over well at all. This French made for television movie was on two dvds and I loved every minute of it. Kim Rossi Stuart was gorgeous and passionate, and I bought him in the part immediately.
The film explores life’s varied intents such as riches, love, piety, freedom, brotherhood, and class equality in an intelligent manner. But, the main character, Sorel, is so impetuous, that he brings us to the dramatic ending without any real conclusion, except his own as he pulls us along in his dramatic story. Nevertheless, I was glued to the film to see how it ended. Hopefully you will be too. I give it
**** of five stars.
The Keys to the House is a story about a father, Gianni (played by Kim Rossi Stuart), who hasn’t seen his handicapped son since he abandoned him when was born and his mother died during his delivery. Now, fifteen years later, partly out of guilt he has decided to travel with his son to see a physical therapist in Berlin. While there, he comes to fall in love with his son, Paolo (played by Andrea Rossi). He meets Nicole (played by Charlotte Rampling) the mother of a severely disabled child. Nicole helps him deal emotionally with being the parent of a disabled child. Fueled by his guilt and love for Paolo, Gianni decides to take over the full time care for Paolo.
This film was very moving without being overly melodramatic. The acting was solid and believable and one cared about the characters and their plights in life. It is a must see.
**** of five stars.