Human Capital review

Recession cinema

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A critical and commercial hit in Italy, Paolo Virzì’s classy recession-set melodrama gives spiritual anguish a topical makeover. A hit-and-run accident mires two families – one well-off, the other less so – in scandal, as revealed over three overlapping stories. It’s a timely tale, robustly told, with Virzì ably dissecting the effect a transactional culture has on the soul, and the difficulty of finding happiness without (and sometimes with) cold hard cash.

Shame that the plotting favours narrative intrigue over character depth, creating a film whose message is witnessed rather than felt.

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