Dolce fine giornata
presented by the Vancouver Foreign Film Society
In a picturesque countryside villa in Tuscany, semi-retired Nobel laureate Maria Linde is living out her golden years in casual luxury. The celebrated Jewish-Polish poet (played to fine-tuned perfection by a remarkable Krystyna Janda) enjoys a life filled with late-night dinners, wine-infused conversation with friends, and quality time spent with her adult daughter and grandchildren. The free-spirited matriarch’s privileged existence mostly keeps her at a remove from the escalating xenophobia engulfing Italy. But a secret dalliance with a handsome (and much younger) Egyptian immigrant sets off a chain of events that will eventually lead to Maria’s life coming apart at the seams.
Polish director Jacek Borcuch’s carefully crafted drama is a study in mood, setting and ambiguity. Tackling the knotty intermingling of politics and art, Borcuch provides no easy answers to Europe’s current crisis of morality and identity. But the film’s true tour de force is Janda, who infuses her protagonist with both the wilful selfishness of a child and the complicated desires of a woman finding her way in life’s later stages.
"A beautiful movie with an interesting and important perspective… The heartbreaking Dolce fine giornata asks difficult questions." Anne T Donahue, Globe and Mail
"Satisfyingly complex." Dennis Harvey, Variety