IFF: The Landlords

(Padroni di casa)
(Italy, 2012, 90 mins)
In Italian with English subtitles
CAST Elio Germano, Valerio Mastandrea, Gianni Morandi, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

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Equal parts drama, comedy and thriller, The Landlords is a riveting film from actor-turned director, Edoardo Gabbriellini (I Am Love) with a sensational cast including legendary real-life singer Gianni Morandi making a return to the big screen after 40 years.

Cosimo (Valerio Mastandrea) and Elia (Elio Germano) are two young brothers dreaming of success in the construction business. They travel from Rome to a remote Apennines mountain village where they have been contracted to rebuild a villa for the retired singer Fausto Mieli, a divisive local figure who is planning a comeback concert.

With their natural big city arrogance, Cosimo and Elia draw hostility from the locals, and in particular the male population. Tensions are further heightened as a young local woman, Adriana (Francesca Rabbi), flirts with Elia and dreams of running away with him.

Even in the film’s idyllic mountain setting there is a sense of foreboding throughout, as the conflict between outsiders and villagers subtly builds to a climax with repercussions for the whole community.