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GOD WILLING

SYNOPSIS: Tommaso (Marco Giallini) is a successful, respected surgeon who also happens to be conceited, proud, arrogant - and a staunch atheist. However, Tommaso's pedestal is set to be removed when his only son Andrea (Enrico Oetiker) brings the family together for an entirely unexpected announcement: he wants to become a priest. Tommaso refuses to accept this newfound Catholicism, and is further horrified when his wife Carla (Laura Morante) and daughter Bianca (Ilaria Spada) undertake a renaissance-of-sorts themselves.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's an appealing premise to have an atheist dad try to come to terms with a son wishing to be a Catholic priest, and the comedic possibilities are all driven by genuine dramatic potential. So as an expectant film lover and a practicing atheist, I was all rearing to go - until the film showed its true colours: it's comedy time folks. Frivolity is the tone. The decision to play it for laughs is a disappointment for those who like their humour dry and their conflicts real. It is also surprising, though, how successfully the film has played to audiences in its home Italy as well as the Italian film festival in Australia, where it opened the festivities.

So maybe I am alone in being unmoved by the screenplay, an unbeliever let's say. But the screenplay is also flawed in being too perfunctory with its characters and its story. There is little to show us by actions what we are being told by dialogue. It perpetrates the sense of inauthenticity. This is well exemplified by a silly little subterfuge involving the daughter, Bianca (Ilaria Spada) who is immediately smitten with religious fervor on being handed a book of the new testament by her priesthood-heading brother Andrea (Enrico Oetiker).

The latter is deliberately set up at the beginning to appear to be on the verge of coming out as gay - complete with pink T shirt - when he makes his career announcement, and the casting decision was evidently driven by his looks. Too obvious a sleight of hand leaves us feeling tricked, not pleasantly surprised.

Yet there are some positives, not least the zingy pace and the endearing cinematography and a few bursts of entertainment, notably a couple of moments with the family's maid, Xenia, beautifully (dryly) played by Silvia Munguia.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

GOD WILLING (PG)
(Italy, 2015)

Se Dio vuole

CAST: Marco Giallini, Alessandro Gassman, Laura Morante, Ilaria Spada, Edoardo Pesce, Enrico Oetiker

PRODUCER: Mario Gianani, Lorenzo Mieli

DIRECTOR: Edoardo Maria Falcone

SCRIPT: Edoardo Maria Falcone, Marco Martani

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tommaso Borgstrom

EDITOR: Luciana Pendolfelli

MUSIC: Carlo Virzi

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Christina Onori

RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 2, 2016







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