Synopsis: In Rome, at dawn, when everyone is sleeping, one man is awake. That man is Giulio Andreotti. He's awake because he has to work, write books, move in fashionable circles and, last but not least, pray. Calm, crafty and inscrutable, Andreotti is synonym of power in Italy for over four decades. At the beginning of the Nineties, this impassive yet insinuating, ambiguous yet reassuring figure appears set to assume his seventh mandate as Prime Minister without arrogance and without humility. Approaching seventy, Andreotti is a gerontocrat who, with all the attributes of God, is afraid of no one and does not know the meaning of awe, since he is accustomed to seeing it stamped on the faces of all his interlocutors. His satisfaction is muted, impalpable. For him, satisfaction is power, with which he has a symbiotic relationship. Power the way he likes it. [Synopsis courtesy of film's official website.]
Round-up: "Sorrentino’s seeming motivation for telling the story of this grandiosely corrupt politician is not to humanize but to trap. And under the pulverizing cinematic techniques of this ecstatically unforgiving filmmaker, this powerful, loathed world leader is little more than a squashed bug," writes Mic... hael Koresky in his review of "Il Divo" for indieWIRE, going on to say that "the film’s insistent visual nimbleness is initially welcome, as the daunting outpouring of information that comprise much of the film—the names and events that make up the case of corruption the state finally used to bring Andreotti to justice in the early Nineties—threatens to overwhelm the viewer in impalpability." Koresky seems to be the odd critic out, however, as "Il Divo" has received larely favorable press. "As operatic cinema, it ranks alongside the best of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola," writes Stephen Holden for the New York Times. Describing the movie's impactful visual style (which bothered Koresky), Holden says: "From its bizarre opening image of the migraine-prone Mr. Andreotti with acupuncture needles stuck in his head — a picture of prime minister as human porcupine that could be out of a Fellini film — 'Il Divo' is a tour de force of indelibly flashy imagery." The Village Voice's Ella Taylor echoes his praise, writing "'Il Divo' plays like an elegantly ritualized black comedy, with Sorrentino deploying every formal tool in his arsenal to disrupt facile interpretations of Andreotti's strategically opaque character."