His Secret Life (2001)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

Original title:  Le Fate Ignoranti

Alternate title:  Ignorant Fairies

Italy/France, 2001.  R&C Produzioni, Les Films Balenciaga, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali. Story and Screenplay by , Ferzan Ozpetek.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

Antonia () has just lost her husband in a horrible car accident; a few days later, upon receiving all his effects from his office she finds a painting given to him by what appears to be a secret, long-term lover. Determined to find out who the little slut is with whom he was carrying on, Antonia searches and researches until finally narrowing it down to a last name and an address. Unfortunately, the doorbell of the guilty party reads Mr. and not Miss, and Antonia has to face the fact that for the last seven years her husband has been leading a double life. Upon meeting Michele (), her husband’s lover, Antonia is at first hateful and angry, and he is bitter because he never got to truly share a life with the man he loved (she got him on all the holidays). Gradually, though, the two misfits find common ground and she is integrated into his life in a Tales of the City-style apartment building where everyone has lunch together on a beautifully sunlit veranda every Sunday afternoon. The film is filled with so many light touches and honest performances that you never try to step ahead of it for a second.

Berlin Film Festival:  In Competition

Toronto International Film Festival:  2001

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