In the conventional, and equally contestable, category of ‘auteur films’ there are many works in the running in this 2023 that has just begun. In fact, many masters will take to the field in Italy and abroad. And this with a strong thematic lean towards biopics and history. For Italy there will be Sorrentino, Costanzo, Rohrwacher, Rights, Genovese, Moretti, Bellocchio, Garrone, Salvatores and Guadagnino while, for international cinema, present at the roll call: Almodovar, Scott, Cooper, Anderson, Scorsese, Fincher, Larrain and Sophia Coppola. Here is in a nutshell what we will see.
On the biopic front we find Christopher Nolan’s OPPENHEIMER set in the 1940s with the story of one of the fathers of the atomic bomb (Cillian Murphy). In the cast: Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Gary Oldman, Emily Blunt and Kenneth Branagh.
MAESTRO with Bradley Cooper as director, performer and producer, is also a biopic on the life of conductor Leonard Bernstein. Among the producers of this film Scorsese and Spielberg.
Then there is FERRARI by Michael Mann, a biopic on the Italian entrepreneur played by Adam Driver. We are in the summer of 1957 and the former Ferrari driver is in crisis: bankruptcy has brought the company to its knees, which he built ten years earlier together with his wife Laura.
Finally comes a cult biography signed Ridley Scott, or NAPOLEON which will tell of his rise to power and the relationship with Giuseppina, his wife and only love. The protagonists are Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby. PRISCILLA by Sofia Coppola is instead a transversal biopic dedicated to Elvis Presley from the point of view of his wife Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny). The film is in fact based on the biographical book ELIS & ME, and intends to tell the perspective of a teenager – Priscilla was fourteen when she met Elvis.
On March 30 comes THE RETURN OF CASANOVA by Gabriele Salvatores. Freely inspired by the novel by Arthur Schnitzler, it tells the story of a director who does not give up on the passage of time and decides to focus his new film on Casanova (Toni Servillo). During filming, however, he realizes how much this literary character reminds him too much of himself.
Another great master, Marco Bellocchio, instead is engaged in THE CONVERSION with the true story of a Jewish child, Edgardo Mortara, who in 1858 was taken from the Papal State and taken away from his family to be raised as a Catholic. Transferred to Rome, the child was then raised according to Christian precepts in the custody of Pius IX despite his family’s requests for him back.
In terms of current affairs, IO CAPITANO by Matteo Garrone will arrive in theaters with the story of two young people Seydou and Moussa, who leave Dakar (Senegal) to face the long journey to Europe. For them an odyssey that leads them to cross all kinds of danger.
EL CONDE by Pablo Larraín is instead a Netflix fantasy comedy. One imagines a 250-year-old vampire Augusto Pinochet, weighed down by dishonor and family conflicts, the former Chilean dictator has only one desire: to die.
FINALLY DAWN by Saverio Costanzo takes us back to the Fifties. Here Mimosa (Rebecca Antonaci) is an extra in a Hollywood peplum who spends a night with an American actress (Lily James), a gallery owner (Willem Dafoe) and an up-and-coming actor.
THE FIRST DAY OF MY LIFE by Paolo Genovese interweaves the story of a man (Valerio Mastandrea), two women (Margherita Buy and Sara Serraiocco) and a boy, who share the fact that they are desperate. One day they meet a character (Toni Servillo), who gives them the opportunity to observe what could happen in the world when they disappear.
Much anticipation for IL SOL DELL’AVVENIRE by Nanni Moretti, set in Italy, between the 50s and 70s, in the world of the circus and cinema. At the moment there are few details on the plot of the film. In the cast we find Margherita Buy, Silvio Orlando Barbora Bobulova.
LA CHIMERA by Alice Rohrwacher is instead set in the 1980s and has as its protagonist a hunter of Etruscan artifacts called Arthur who has the gift of “feeling the void”.
On June 16, Wes Anderson’s ASTEROID CITY will be released in the States, which takes place in 1955 in an imaginary American town in the desert, where the Junior Stargazer\Space Cadet convention takes place every year. Impressive cast: Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson and Matt Dillon.
STRANGE WAY OF LIFE by Pedro Almodóvar is a queer western starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal. It’s actually just a thirty minute short film. Protagonist Silva, a man who crosses the desert to reach the town of Bitter Creek.
CHALLENGERS by Luca Guadagnino is instead a comedy set in the world of tennis. Zendaya plays Tashi, a former golfer who coaches her husband Art (Mike Faist) and has managed to turn him into a world-class Grand Slam star.
Martin Scorsese with KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON puts his hand to an adaptation of the homonymous book by David Grann, which investigates the real murders of some members of the Osage Nation, a Native American population of Oklahoma. We are in the 1920s, and oil is discovered under their land. The FBI takes over the investigation and uncovers a horrible secret behind this trail of violence. Starring Jesse Plemons, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
Among the most awaited films is certainly PARTENOPE by Paolo Sorrentino. The myth of the siren that gave birth to the city of Naples is the protagonist. It will be a journey through time, even meeting San Gennaro. Shooting should start within the summer between the seafront, Castel dell’Ovo, Borgo Marinari and the historic center. (HANDLE).