Tribeca Movie Review: Vivere

The following movie was reviewed at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival:



World Narrative Competition

2007, Germany

Dir: Angelina Maccarone

A time for celebration and unity, Christmas Eve evokes thoughts of family gatherings and spirited festivities. The characters in Vivere aren't fortunate enough to enjoy such pleasures, as they travel together on the night of said jubilee in an attempt to find themselves, and ultimately, find a way out of their personal angst. Director Angelina Maccarone creates an intertwined story of three women, of different generations, that come together to save each other.

A lonely taxi driver, Francesca, sets out to find her sister Antonietta, who has ran away on Christmas Eve to accompany her boyfriend and his band as they play a show in Rotterdam. Along the way, Francesca comes across a wrecked car on the side of the road. The injured passenger, Gerlinde, decides to tag along with Francesca on her trip to search for Antonietta.

Employing a nonlinear structure, Maccarone gives each character her own voice, allowing each of them to develop their own piece in order to fully combine at the end and form the whole story. All three women's specific tales compliment each other with grace and exactitude, and all gaps within the storyline become filled. The events unfold in a way that permits the coincidences connecting the women to surface.

Gerlinde, played wonderfully by Hannelore Elsner, has suffered a loss of her own and decides to go along with Francesca because she has nowhere else to turn, and no one else to turn to. Her lover has decided to ditch her for the evening, opting to spend the night with her husband and kids. Francesca falls in love with Gerlinde, and then experiences the bitter rejection from her. She tries finding some human contact in the form of a trendy bartender, but is unsatisfied. And then Antonietta, led by her boyfriend to an unknown city, is worried about the consequences of her love for him. Free spirited and rebellious, she begins to experience emotions and transformations common in a girl who is quickly turning into a woman. All three women end up finally reuniting and spending their own special Christmas Eve together.

Somewhat corny and sappy at times, the film suffers a bit from being over sentimental and trying too hard to get the point across. With great performances from the three leading ladies aside, the coincidences that arise between them seem extremely convenient and slightly unbelievable. A nice film on the whole, but offers nothing more.

/Film Rating: 7 out of 10