“Comedy and poignancy weave together in Mr. Virzì’s hands”

(Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times)

 

Director Paolo Virzì, the acclaimed heir of the Italian-style comedy tradition made popular by Academy awards favorites Mario Monicelli and Pietro Germi, takes a break from his imaginative plots to tell the story of a real-life character who is stranger than fiction. The man who hit his head deals with the mystery of Bobo Rondelli, a brilliant yet accursed musician who came close to success several times, only to flee away from it with a defiant and anarchist (though some may call it self-destructive) attitude. Rondelli charms and puzzles all the people he encounters, including fellow musicians who have embraced success, like the world-class jazz pianist Stefano Bollani.

Rondelli’s portrait also reveals the hidden face of Livorno, the proud harbor town in Tuscany where both him and Virzì were born and raised, breathing and sharing its cocky and irreverent spirit.

Visceral and ironic, funny and moving, the film draws on this unique character to explore the universal theme of the complicated correlation between talent and success.