Panorama | Focus on Italy
What would you do if you discovered your older brother had a malignant brain tumour—would you conspire with his doctors to hide the severity of his condition from him? In this very stylish interpersonal drama from Valeria Golino—her second to screen at Cannes—that’s just what Matteo (Riccardo Scamarcio) does, hoping that ignorance will have a sort of placebo effect on Ettore (Valerio Mastandrea). Having spent his life becoming rich and carefully cultivating a persona of carefree luxury and generosity, Matteo invites his sibling to stay with him, have his bills paid and be cared for; the brothers go on to realize how estranged they’ve become over the years.
Initially light on its feet, and reveling in the glories of high society Rome, Euforia skips along to the brisk charm of Scamarcio’s performance; only slowly does it reveal the unspoken melancholy rippling beneath its surface. Buoyed by cool, crisp cinematography, the film portrays the lives of its characters with great understanding. It’s ultimately a warm, humanist tale about wrestling with the conflict between our lives as individuals and the duties that come with familial bonds.