The Daniele Luchetti directed film, Lacci, will be presented as the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s Opening Film, Out of Competition. The major international film festival will take place between 2 and 12 September 2020, with Luchetti’s film the first Italian production to open the festival in over a decade.
The film is based on a 2017 novel of the same name by Domenico Starnone, which gained fame as one of the New York Times’ most notable books of 2017. The film stars big names such as Alba Rohrwacher, Luigi Lo Cascio, Laura Morante, Silvio Orlando, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Adriano Giannini, Linda Caridi
“Recently, we have all feared that cinema might become extinct,” Luchetti said, “Yet during the quarantine, it gave us comfort, like a light gleaming in a cavern. Today we have understood something else, that films, television series, novels, are indispensable in our lives. With Lacci, I am honoured to open the dances of the first great festival in unexpected times.”
“It’s been eleven years since the Venice International Film Festival was opened by an Italian film,” the festival’s director, Alberto Barbera, said, “This happy opportunity was offered by the wonderful film directed by Daniele Luchetti, an anatomy of a married couple’s problematic coexistence, as they struggle with infidelity, emotional blackmail, suffering and guilt, with an added mystery that is not revealed until the end.”
He added, “Supported by an outstanding cast, the film is also a sign of the promising phase in Italian cinema today, continuing the positive trend seen in recent years, which the quality of the films invited to Venice this year will surely confirm.”
The film takes place in Naples in the early 1980s and tells the story of the marriage between Aldo and Vanda which begins to break down when Aldo falls in love with the young Lidia. Thirty years later, Aldo and Vanda are still married, although the film represents a mystery about feelings, a story of loyalty and faithlessness, of resentment and shame. It also talks about betrayal, pain, a secret box, a home laid waste, a cat, the voice of people in love and that of people out of love.
Lacci will be screened on the film festival’s opening night of 2 September, at the Palazzo del Cinema’s Sala Grande, on the Lido di Venezia. Produced by IBC Movie with Rai Cinema, the script was written by Domenico Starnone, Francesco Piccolo and Daniele Luchetti.
Luchetti was born in Rome in 1960. Sacher Film produced his first film as a director, titled Domani accadrà (“It’s Happening Tomorrow”, 1988), which won the David di Donatello for the best debut director. His next film, Il portaborse (“The Yes Man”, 1991), won him his first critical acclaim and was well-received at the Cannes Film Festival. The film also won the David di Donatello for best screenplay and best actor.
He then directed La scuola (“School”, 1995), I piccolo maestri (“Little Teachers, 1998”) and Mio fratello è figlio unico (“My Brother is an Only Child”, 2007). The latter film starred Elio Germano and Riccardo Scamarcio, which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, and also won five David di Donatello awards.
Luchetti returned to Cannes in 2010, this time in competition with the film La nostra vita starring Elio Germano, who won the award for Best Actor on La Croisette. The film also won three David di Donatello, including Best Director. Luchetti’s most recent work is Momenti di trascurabile felicità (“Ordinary Happiness”), which he made in 2019.