Paolo Sorrentino, who won Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards for the Fellini-esque “The Great Beauty,” returns for another visual feast of beautiful people and places on display. Below, check out a clip of Sorrentino’s new film “Loro” — which is now finally in U.S. theaters after a release in Italy more than a year ago — exclusive to IndieWire.
“Loro” offers a colorful history of Silvio Berlusconi (played by the wonderfully expressive Toni Servillo), the Italian media tycoon and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy and was driven by all manner of appetites. The populist leader began running for office in 1994, and spent nearly two decades at the epicenter of Italian politics. He famously remained involved in his business holdings despite conflicts of interest, and was brought down on charges of bribery, child prostitution, and tax fraud.
The film looks at Berlusconi through the eyes of Sergio Morra, the scheming, coke-sniffing manager of a sex-trafficking ring. From the South of Italy, Sergio, along with his equally drug-addled girlfriend Tamara (Euridice Axen), travels to Rome to get closer to Berlusconi and his powerful inner-circle of politicians and businessmen. Everyone is jockeying for power, and money isn’t the only currency.
Packed with graphic sex and freely flowing substances, “Loro” provides another showcase for the roving, ever-searching camera of Sorrentino, who works here again with cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, who also shot the director’s best-known films, “The Great Beauty” and “Il Divo.” They also worked together on Sorrentino’s English-language works, the film “Youth” starring Michael Caine, to the popular HBO series “The Young Pope,” starring Jude Law and now set for the spinoff, “The New Pope,” also with Law but this time adding John Malkovich to the mix.
As “Loro” was released in Italy in 2018, it’s not eligible for the International Feature Film Academy Award this year. Last year, the country submitted “Dogman” and this year submitted “The Traitor,” from veteran auteur Marco Bellocchio. Italy’s last film in the running to claim the Oscar win was, in fact, “The Great Beauty” in 2014.
In the clip below, a boozy night out in Rome takes an unexpected turn.