Il Romanzo di Un Giovane Povero
|By Roderick Conway Morris|
VENICE 29 September 1995
Directed by Ettore Scola.Italy.
Octave Feuillet's popular novel 'Roman d'un Jeune Pauvre' (1858) has already inspired seven films, but Scola has pluckily rocketed a free version of the tale into present-day, petit-bourgeois suburban Rome. Vicenzo is an owlish, slightly oddball graduate living with his widowed mother. One night he meets his dapper, retired, apartment-block neighbor, Signor Bartoloni (Alberto Sordi), and goes off for a drink with him. Bartoloni is being tormented by hisbullyingwife and offers Vincenzo a tidy sum for bumping her off so he can pursue his dream of marrying a buxom young local shopkeeper. An intoxicated Vincenzo jokingly agrees -- on condition that Bartoloni in turn kills the graduate's nagging mother -- and events spiral out of control. The social setting of Scola's drama is thoroughly convincing and the script is shot through with sharp humor.
First published: International Herald Tribune
© Roderick Conway Morris 1975-2022