Roberto Benigni became an international star after he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in Life is Beautiful, a film Benigni also directed and co-wrote. But Benigni’s star plummeted a bit in the years to come, worsened by his directorial follow-up, 2002’s Pinocchio. The live-action take on the classic tale was critically panned, most notably for the fact that the middle-aged Benigni cast himself as the puppet boy. You might think that experience would keep Benigni away from all-things Pinocchio-related, but no. He’s starring in yet another take on the tale – this time as Geppetto, the woodcarver who crafts the puppet.
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2011 saw one of the greatest successes of Woody Allen‘s career, as his film Midnight in Paris did great business on the US arthouse circuit and worldwide, eventually raking in nearly $150m globally. There was also that little matter of winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Now Allen returns with To Rome With Love, a vignette-based romantic comedy with most of the action falling into a very familiar Allen mode. (It’s a welcome returns, with lines like “the kid’s a communist, the father’s a mortician… does the mother run a leper colony?”)
The cast features Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni (of whom we haven’t seen much in some time), Judy Davis and Woody Allen himself, who hasn’t been in front of the camera since the 2006 release Scoop. The action places that cast in various minor romantic and comic entanglements that all look a bit fluffy, and very entertaining.
Check out the trailer below. Read More »
Briefly: 2011 was a great year for Woody Allen. His playful, entertaining film Midnight in Paris turned into the year’s runaway arthouse hit, taking in $60m to become Allen’s greatest domestic success. Sony Classics has distributed the director’s last few films and after their stellar success with Midnight in Paris, I think it has been pretty much a foregone conclusion that his next movie, Nero Fiddled, would go out via the company as well.
Variety reports that deal has been set, with Sony Classics picking up North American and UK rights to the film, which stars Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. As is typically the case with a new Allen film we don’t know much about the plot — all we’ve got is that the Rome-set film “consists of four separate vignettes — two with American characters, two with Italian characters — but the vignettes never intersect.”
The film will get a summer 2012 release, and is a likely bet for a Cannes debut.
This past summer, Woody Allen enjoyed the unexpected success of his film Midnight in Paris, which has been going strong in arthouses since May with over $100m earned worldwide. He also shot a new film in Rome, and for quite some time he was planning to call the movie Bop Decameron. There’s a lot to like about that title — it’s very Woody Allen, and even a good bit more jaunty than most of his titles. But it isn’t the sort of title that will keep a movie on screens for six months. Midnight in Paris sounds romantic and enticing. Bop Decameron sounds like… well, I imagine Woody realized a lot of people might not know what it sounds like.
So the film is now called Nero Fiddled. Not as jaunty or romantic, but at least people will know what he’s talking about. I hope. Read More »
Coming off Midnight in Paris, his biggest financial success in decades, Woody Allen is ready to shoot his 2012 film. It’s called The Bop Decameron and he’s just finalized the very impressive cast, many of which we were already aware of. The most exciting news is the confirmation that Allen himself will return to the screen after a few films off (his last one was 2006’s Scoop). He’ll star along with Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. It’ll start filming in Rome next month. No word on the plot, as Allen likes to keep those under wraps, but we try and decipher the title and announce more cast members after the jump. Read More »
As Woody Allen prepares to arrive in Cannes with his latest film Midnight in Paris, he is confirming some casting reports about his next film, to be shot in Rome, which he calls “a comic picture, an out-and-out comedy.” Speaking to USA Today he offered that quote, said that reports pegging the film’s title as The Wrong Picture were, uh, wrong, and confirming that he would indeed appear in the film.
And he also confirmed Deadline‘s report that Roberto Benigni would play a part in the movie. We don’t know what that part will be, but he’ll join Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg and Alec Baldwin. Read More »