Amanda (2023)

May 30th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Carolina Cavalli; Cast: Benedetta Percaroli, Galatea Bellugi, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, Monica Nappo, Michele Bravi; Italy/France 2022, 93 min.

Amanda is the anti-social but wickedly amusing daughter of one of Italy’s rich industrialist families in this impressive first feature from Carolina Cavalli who celebrates female friendship.

The sardonic 24-year-old (Benedetta Percaroli) is back in her home town of Turin after spending some time in Paris. In a bid to put distance between her and her family, who have no time for her whims and capricious behaviour, she opts to stay in a hotel but makes a regular appearance at the family dinner table and seems to have hit it off with her niece, much to the consternation of Amanda’s older sister Marina (Missoni).

Amanda’s first object of desire is a regular visitor to the Cinematheque – a place of magic for Amanda – but neither of them makes any contact. The “Dude” (Bravi) is next in line, but after it transpires he only wants to distribute free condoms – instead of drugs – he bites the dust as potential bestie number two.

Then a blast from the past arrives in the shape of Rebecca (Bellugi), her best friend from primary school. After a long stand-off – Rebecca suffers from claustrophobia – the two manage to connect, but a horse will be the vital link in cementing the women’s friendship.

Although Amanda is not very lovable Cavalli’s clever writing skills make her an irresistible force of nature: she can be witty, but her comments often cut to the quick. All this scathing comedy and a string of amusing plot lines make the film whizz by leaving us wanting more. Cavalli – unlike her feminine creation – adopts a restrained approach to the storyline that – at just over 90 minutes – is well worth watching. AS

NOW ON CURZON From 2 June 2023

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