Death Wish opens tomorrow also. The film is a remake to a stark 1974 Charles Bronson movie about a husband who becomes a widower when his wife is brutally murdered by street thugs. Like in Batman, the protagonist becomes a vigilante and guns down the criminal element. Bruce Willis stars in the remake and there was some Oscar buzz about his performance. However, recent marketing has changed the tone from a stark drama to that off an action flick with quips and one liners.
Let Yourself Go is the most original movie that will open this weekend. An Italian movie with English subtitles, this film is a universal story about the mind and the body. When a Freudian psychoanalyst (Toni Servillo) starts to doze off during his sessions, his estranged wife suggests a regiment for exercise. Meet Claudia (Veronica Echegui), a personal trainer who believes in the perfection of the body.
The contrast between the old psychoanalyst and young Claudia creates enough conflict to move Let Yourself Go to an entertaining 90 minute realistic comedy. The drama is real.
He lives an austere life and is set in his ways. Claudia is impulsive and her behavior often indebts her to the kindness of strangers. Both learn from each other; the old psychoanalyst forces himself to exercise more, while Claudia learns to think more.
As the psychoanalyst, Servillo has polished off his niche as “Italy’s Everyman.” Last seen in America in The Great Beauty, (Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language), he is introduced in a less flamboyant role. Like a blossoming cactus, Servillo transforms into a Freudian Superman that feels believable. As Claudia, Spanish actress Veronica Echegui is a constant delight.
See Let Yourself Go with some friends some afternoon and dine on Italian cuisine afterward; it will be a good experience.
The 90th Oscars Annual Academy Awards occurs this Sunday night, March 4. Steve Savor will be holding a black tie gala party that night at his Villa De Palma. Tickets are $150, but members of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival pay only $100. For ticket information, contact Savor Cinema at 954-525-FILM or visit www.fliff.com.
Save the date: Starting Friday, March 9, the Miami International Film Festival begins. This columnist is honored to have been chosen to serve as a jurist for the Rene Rodriguez Critics Award. Next week, I, the “longest-standing film columnist in Broward County,” will create a special preview for the longest-standing film festival in South Florida, the 35th Annual Miami film Festival.