“The order of the tempo”

It’s the end of the world as we know it – and I support the asteroid.

“Something really bad is going on. »

Would you like to know if life on Earth was suddenly about to end?

This is the dilemma at the heart of The order of the tempo (The order of time), which sees a group of friends reunite at a quaint seaside villa to celebrate Elsa’s (Claudia Gerini) 50th birthday. But when physicist Enrico (Edoardo Leo), a specialist in calculating time distortions, arrives particularly troubled, the festivities take another turn. Is he in a bad mood because his partner Paola (Ksenia Rappoport) has apparently moved on with a new partner, or does he know something they don’t, which is that the asteroid Anaconda is hurtling towards Earth and thus dooms the world. humanity to go to Earth. the way of the dinosaurs?

Generously adapted from the book “The Order of Time” by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli and brought to the screen by the famous veteran filmmaker Liliana Cavani (The night porter, The Berlin Affair) and co-screenwriter Paolo Costella, this out-of-competition film is a real disaster.

It takes up the book’s research on the theory of relativity, time in physics, and Bayesian probability theory (described by Rovelli as “the only equation in fundamental physics that knows a difference between the past and the future”), and turns them into a banal summer. a melodrama that actively urges you to hit the asteroid so we don’t have to experience more violent tonal shifts and deep reflections from a series of characters that look like cardboard cutouts expressing incredible emotions in quick succession The best example of this is a background actress, the Peruvian governess, who has tears in her eyes for a minute and talks about going home to be with her son; the next minute, she’s serving up a birthday cake like the world isn’t over.

Any inherently promising topics about the merits of dramatizing or downplaying the possibility of impending doom, or how the fear of death can recalibrate your life’s priorities and enhance a new perspective on what’s truly important, are torpedoed by hackneyed platitudes and particularly grating dialogue. It might have worked on stage, as the one-location set might make for a semi-decent behind closed doors, but slowly dies on the big screen.

Consider gems as profound as “Why does our story unfold in stages?” / “Because we are looking for intensity” and “Time flies” / “It’s the same for everyone” – all cobbled together by a clumsy montage (including two exasperating fades to black following a dance sequence on Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me” Until Love Ends” and TV clips of Charlie Chaplin cooking his shoe in The gold Rush) and a soundtrack of what sounds like excerpts from Days of Our Lives.

Which brings us to the more pressing question: how do you make the threat of a sixth extinction so boring?

Less time would have been wasted had Cavani turned to farce or saved the proceedings by suddenly turning white to indicate the burning flash of the end times. Instead, we see life more as a journey filled with the certainty of nostalgia and the uncertainty of hope, the unwittingly hilarious last-minute inclusion of a lost son popping up to spice up relationships already at telenovela level. , as well as an awesome news story about the invasive blue crabs that eat all the clams and how they’ll outlive us all.

You see, the Italian government recently encouraged people to eat blue crab, which destroyed shellfish production in Italy – the world’s third largest producer of clams after China and South Korea. Now you know.

Accidental and opportune considerations aside, fear not – by this point, you’ll have been too busy replaying better asteroid movies in your head or praying for the sweet release of space-rock-Anaconda death. to worry about it. Otherwise, you’ll be repeatedly humming Nicki Minaj’s much deeper lyrics: ” My Anaconda no, my anaconda no, my anaconda don’t want it unless you got buns, honey… »

In total now:

The order of time premiered out of competition at the Venice Film Festival.

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