Twenty-two years after winning the Palme d’Or with The son’s roomNanni Moretti presents in competition at Cannes his new film, Towards a bright future (Il sol dell’avvenire, in the original title). The 69-year-old Italian filmmaker, known for his philosophical diatribes and his unique way of directing himself, once again turns the camera around for a mise en abyme full of nostalgia on cinema, political commitment and the world that exchange.
Nanni Moretti plays Giovanni, a well-known director in Italy who is shooting his new film about the post-war Italian Communist Party. But despite his habit of always controlling everything, nothing goes as planned. His French producer goes bankrupt, his wife leaves him after 40 years together and his daughter goes out with a man who is three times her age. In the midst of an existential crisis, Giovanni will have to adapt to find happiness on a personal and professional level.
Cinema 1 – Netflix 0
The film, already released in Italy, insists on the passion of a director who no longer understands the working methods of his contemporaries in an era that no longer really corresponds to his ideals. From the first minutes, references to the films and personalities that inspired Nanni Moretti multiply. He even offers himself a call to Martin Scorsese – who was also present on the red carpet this year. His long, always very articulated monologues resonate here like a declaration of love for a period he considered blessed, when the electric scooter – present on the film poster – had not yet replaced the Vespa in the streets of Paris. Italy.
In the sights of the Italian filmmaker: streaming platforms and their economic model that are shaking up the industry. In one tasty scene, Giovanni meets with Netflix producers hoping they can help him finish his film, which has been cut short. The opportunity for Nanni Moretti to pay for the American giant, its standardized formats “broadcast in 190 countries” and its scenarios “what the fuck”. “It saddens me that so many directors and film professionals submit to the streaming system”justified the director during the presentation of the film.
They love each other)
But beyond the militant message carried by this sixteenth feature film, Nanni Moretti delivers a personal film in which he takes all the place. Omnipresent, his character even becomes intrusive when he invites himself on the set of another film and cannot help but give his opinion. During a sequence that deliberately drags on to bring out the absurdity, Giovanni hammers his methods at the director and stretches the shooting until the early morning… for a result that is ultimately similar to the first take. The symbol of a demanding but also egocentric filmmaker, which Nanni Moretti likes to highlight with humor but without the slightest subtlety.
Love of cinema, love of himself but also love in general: like the couple brought to the screen, Towards a bright future constantly oscillates between melancholy and joy, but never sinks into sadness. The attachment between husband and wife remains through their common passion. Giovanni doubts but does not break, getting tired of going, here and there, to a few sweets and another game of football – markers so dear to Nanni Moretti. And it is in a final scene of great beauty that the title of the film finally takes on its full meaning, leaving the viewer with an elegant feeling of lightness, exciting and refreshing.
Gender : drama
Director: Nanni Moretti
Actors: Nanni Moretti, Margherita Buy, Silvio Orlando
Country : Italy
Duration : 1h36
Presented in official competition at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
Exit : June 28, 2023
Distributer : The pact
Summary: Giovanni, renowned Italian filmmaker, is preparing to shoot his new film. But between his couple in crisis, his French producer on the verge of bankruptcy and his daughter who abandons him, everything seems to be against him. Always on the tightrope, Giovanni will have to rethink his way of doing things if he wants to lead his whole little world towards a bright future.