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Il Divo review

For 30 years, Giulio Andreotti was the most powerful politician in Italy .

Three separate stints as Prime Minister, a senior minister in countless other administrations, with links to the Vatican , to right-wing Masonic lodges, to the Mafia and, since 1991, a Senator for life – Andreotti is the embodiment of the labyrinthine, infinitely corrupt Italian state.

Il Divo (one of his many nicknames) is his story. A story, though, told anything but conventionally. Reuniting with Toni Servillo, his lead from The Consequences Of Love, director Paolo Sorrentino lets rip with a virtuoso display of narrative sleight-of-hand and camera wizardry that at once fetishises and mocks Andreotti and his dubious cronies.

It’s a triumphant return to form after the disappointment of The Family Friend. But unless you have an exhaustive knowledge of recent Italian politics, you may find yourself bewildered by the barrage of characters and events the film flings at you. Best sit back and be dazzled.

Philip Kemp

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