Dir: Laura Bispuri | Cast: Alba Rohrwacher, Dominique Sanda, Maya Sansa, Carlo Cerciello, Leonardo Lidi, Maddalena Crippa | Italy Drama 87;
Laura Bispuri’s first film Sworn Virgin took Berlinale by storm in 2015 with its edgy story about a woman opting to live as a man deep in the mountains of Albania. The Peacock’s Paradise appears to be a more straightforward domestic drama, Bispuri’s long time collaborator Alba Rohrwacher this time playing a mother (Adelina ) planning a church wedding to her fiancé Vito (Lidi). But Bispuri’s other family members are an offbeat bunch, outwards appearances proving to be deceptive.
Dominique Sanda stars is the hostess Nena celebrating her birthday with her husband Umberto, their children Vito and Caterina, cousin Isabella, their daughter-in-law Adelina, her daughter Alma, Caterina’s ex Manfredi – who still lusts after her – although he’s at the party with his new girlfriend Joana. But the star of the show is Paco, Alma’s peacock, whose delicate presence and sudden fall from grace causes everyone to reflects on their own sadness and missed opportunities, as well as each other.
With its muted colours, gentle pacing and thoughtful performances this is a nuanced, introspective film that avoids sentimentality or melodrama in exploring close close relationships, perceptively written by Bispuri and Silvana Tamma. MT
Venice Film Festival 2021 | Orizzonti 2021