Here's a look at all of our recommended films for SIFF's third week, June 3 through 9. Follow all our SIFF coverage on our special SIFF page, updated daily with reviews, news, and gossip.
Il Divo: Hard on the heels of the acclaimed Gomorrah, Italian corruption gets a much quieter but equally vigorous workout in Paolo Sorrentinoâ€™s highly stylized portrait of the countryâ€™s most enduring political leader, Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Teflon doesnâ€™t begin to describe the Christian Democrat who led one after another of Italyâ€™s rapid succession of administrations and survived a major bribery and corruption investigation, while opponents and former allies dropped mysteriously dead around him. Il Divo plays like an elegantly ritualized black comedy, with Sorrentino deploying every formal tool in his arsenal to disrupt facile interpretations of Andreottiâ€™s strategically opaque character. Toni Servillo plays Andreotti with brilliant restraint as a physically disconnected man whose curling ears and still, round-shouldered gait hilariouslyâ€”and patheticallyâ€”recall the desiccated food critic Anton Ego from Ratatouille. We learn that Andreotti was a cultured wit with a giftâ€”like this movieâ€”for aphoristic quotation; that he suffered from debilitating headaches; that, in his way, he loved his wife, who loved him back in hers. His solitary nocturnal strolls, surrounded by burly blokes with machine guns, offer one of the movieâ€™s few clues to the price he paid for his obsessive lockhold on power. Aside from an imaginary â€œconfessionâ€ in which he grows momentarily unhinged, Andreotti remains a properly unknowable monument on his countryâ€™s shadowy, shady political landscape. (NR) REVIEW BY ELLA TAYLOR Egyptian: 11 a.m., Sat. June 6 (Also: 9:15 p.m. Sat., June 13.)
That Evening Sun: Set in rural Tennessee, this Hal Holbrook valedictory plays like an unlikely brilliant mixture of Gran Torino, Sexy Beast, and The Straight Story. The 84-year-old Holbrook, best known nowadays for his Mark Twain stage shows, hasnâ€™t displayed this sharp a wit in years, if ever. Whereas Clint Eastwood spends Torino uttering uncomfortably hilarious racial slurs, Holbrookâ€™s politically incorrect daggers are hurled at the â€œwhite trashâ€ family that has unexpectedly come to occupy his ranch. The â€œhis,â€ however, has been cast into doubt by Holbrookâ€™s lawyer son, who leased said ranch to said white trash with an option to buy after checking dad into a horrid nursing home. Escaping from that facility, Holbrook takes a mighty dislike to the undeserving family occupying an estate he worked his whole life to nurture. But what couldâ€™ve been played as a cut-and-dry, good-versus-evil showdown between Holbrookâ€™s Abner Meecham and Ray McKinnonâ€™s Lonzo Choat ends up as an unexpectedly challenging moral conundrum. It involves issues of class, domestic violence, the decay of rural America, parenting, and treatment of the elderlyâ€”and provides no easy answers. If this humble, complex film gets the audience it deserves, Holbrook should instantly rise to the top of Oscarâ€™s shortlist. (NR) REVIEW BY MIKE SEELY Pacific Place: 6:30 p.m., Sat. June 6 (Also: Admiral, 6:45 p.m. Mon., June 8.)