Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
France/Germany/Italy, 1997. 3 Emme Cinematografica, Première Heure, France 3 Cinéma, Schlemmer Film, Dania Film, Mediaset, Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l’Europe, Presidenzia del Consiglio del Ministri-Dipartimento dello Spettacolo, Black Forest Films. Story by Agnes Merlet, Christine Miller, Screenplay by Agnes Merlet, Christine Miller, Patrick Amos. Cinematography by Benoit Delhomme. Produced by Patrice Haddad. Music by Krishna Levy. Production Design by Emita Frigato. Costume Design by Dominique Borg. Film Editing by Guy Lecorne, Daniele Sordoni.
What begins as a fascinating examination of a society that won’t allow the superior talent of seventeenth-century Artemisia Gentileschi to work or study because of her gender, descends into a boring courtroom drama centering around her affair with her much older mentor. Valentina Cervi gives a passionate performance, but otherwise there’s little to recommend it beyond historical interest (which is far greater than this film allows you to believe). A more thorough look at the life of this fantastic painter and her powerful work, her influences and methods would be very welcome, but this particular film is too uneven.
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Toronto International Film Festival: 1997