Reality sucks, but not Reality | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Reality sucks, but not Reality 

Matteo Garrone follows his epic Gomorrah with a tale of fame and misfortune.

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Matteo Garrone follows his crime epic Gomorrah (2008) with a comedy about reality TV, and though it hardly rivals the earlier movie in its social complexity, it still offers the spectacle of a vibrant and vividly realized Neapolitan neighborhood. In keeping with the subject, there's a central character this time, a bumptious fishmonger (Aniello Arena in a debut performance) who suddenly decides that he wants to appear on Grande Fratello (that's "Big Brother" to you) and drives family and friends crazy with his delusions of impending fame. The movie opens with a bravura overhead shot of white horses pulling a gold carriage through the streets of modern Naples en route to a wedding at an incredibly gaudy castle-cum-hotel; it ends with a similar overhead shot of the protagonist at bliss inside the Big Brother house, elevated and isolated by his dream. In Italian with subtitles.

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