Cannes 2024: Marcello Mio, Parthenope, Elementary | Festivals & Awards

May 23, 2024 - Movies

Over the course of the film, which Honoré wrote and directed, Chiara strikes up a friendship with a lovesick British soldier (Hugh Skinner) who initially doesn’t know who she is, which is liberating. She  takes in a good dog she spots in Paris. And she starts dressing up as Marcello—persuasively enough for Marcello’s former co-star Stefania Sandrelli to identify her as the most accurate impersonator in a lineup on TV, but not so convincingly that the police will let her get away with splashing around in the Trevi Fountain in imitation of her father in “La Dolce Vita.”

“Marcello Mio” is innocuous enough, but Honoré lacks the briskness and wit that might have turned it into a truly sharp satire—something on the order of “Being Marcello Mastroianni.” A skit-like premise is allowed to ramble to the two-hour mark. Chiara comes across as secure in who she is. But it’s not clear that Honoré ever decided what this movie should be.

Sandrelli also appears late in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Parthenope,” which is best thought of as an extremely long fashion ad that thinks it’s a Greek myth. Born in 1950 in the waters off Naples, the title character shares a name with one of the Sirens. From the time she is 18 (when she is played by Celeste Dalla Porta, who has the role through most of Parthenope’s life until Sandrelli takes over in the present-day coda), she drives men (and some women) to distraction. Those struck dumbfounded by her beauty appear to include Sorrentino, who wrote the screenplay, which fails to give Parthenope a coherent odyssey of her own.

Over two hours and change, the movie presents Dalla Porta in a succession of stunning outfits (Anthony Vaccarello of Saint Laurent is credited as “costume artistic director”) that have been photographed in correspondingly stunning locations (principally in Southern Italy). The basic suspense concerns whom Parthenope might sleep with, or whether she might ever remove those outfits. Should anyone deign to accuse Sorrentino of prurient interest, note that Parthenope is portrayed as gorgeous and brilliant. She gets top marks as an anthropology student and aspires to an academic career after flirting with acting.

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