Le Fate Ignoranti review

An Italian variation on François Ozon's Under The Sand, which sees an attractive, middle-aged wife suddenly plunged into despair after her husband's unexpected demise.

But things are about to get worse: the widowed Antonia (Margherita Buy) discovers an intimate inscription on the back of the titular painting, a present given to her late spouse (Andrea Renzi). Realising he'd been leading a double life for years, Antonia is determined to track down her hubby's mysterious lover. This turns out to be a man, Michele (Stefano Accorsi), who has his own extended, alternative `family'...

Le Fate Ignoranti, Ferzan Ozpetek's follow-up to his acclaimed debut Hamam, is a polite, respectful work, exploring how the developing friendship between Antonia and Michele allows both tocome to terms with their grief and move on. Contrasting the sterility of Antonia's affluent existence with Michele's community of colourful outsiders, it's a gracefully shot, convincing drama, though it's slightly muted in its emotional impact.

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