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FILMS Italy

Wealth is 'virtual' in Baciato dalla fortuna

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Wealth is 'virtual' in Baciato dalla fortuna

A lottery win can change your life but if you haven't got your ticket in time and your numbers come up, your life changes twice over. The irony of fate, with its joys and pains, are at the centre of the new comedy brought by Medusa, Baciato dalla fortuna [+see also:
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by Paolo Costella (A Natale mi sposo [+see also:
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), out in 400 italian cinemas from September 30. It's a underhand and frenetic farce about chance happenings, which plays on crisis, human relationships and easy opportunism, with a cast that comprises Vincenzo Salemme, Dario Bandiera and also Alessandro Gassman who's new to comedy, as are also Nicole Grimaudo and Asia Argento.

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Based in affluent Parma, the film centres on Gaetano (Salemme), a Neapolitan traffic warden who has settled in the North of Italy and is at grips with the bank who is pestering him for a loan, the bitter ex-wife (Paola Minaccioni) who is pestering him for alimony and the sensual partner (Argento) who is forcing him to a life beyond his means, and who cheats on him with his sinister superior (Gassman). For him, the only way out is to try his luck at the SuperEnalotto. But the numbers he has been playing for a lifetime will come out exactly at the time when he hasn't bought a ticket, thanks in part to a psychiatrist friend who convinces him not to give his life over to chance.

Struck by a momentary amnesia, a consequence of the blow to his head when he finds out the winning combination, he believes he really has won and starts spending crazy amounts of money, making projects of marriage and living a reckless life, while a court of (presumed) friends, come knocking on his door. "At a time when crisis is all around," says the director, "seeing this virtual wealth, a win that seems to be there one moment and the next it is gone, reminds us of each of our own condition, of grappling with the kind of spending that we then realise we cannot sustain."

The film describes a miserable and cruel humanity with an unexpected cast, which sees Salemme and Gassman for the first time together on set, and Argento and Grimaudo facing their first test as comical actors. "Vincenzo and I have been wanting to work together for years", explains Gassman, who in February/March will start shooting his first film as a director, based on his latests successful play Roman e il cucciolo di Reinaldo Povod. "I think we will soon work together again," Salemme said.

The two actresses also want to do more comedy: "It's the first time that I tackle such a brilliant, over-the-top character", says Asia Argento, who in the film plays a sexy chef, featuring in an erotically charged scene, "17 years after Let's not Keep in Touch, I would like to go back to working with Carlo Verdone". "I've realised I am capable of bringing people to tears," Grimaudo jokes (Mine vaganti [+see also:
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), "I hope to make more comedies, after all you laugh from morning until night, and they even pay you…".

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(Translated from Italian)

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