Il Caimano Nanni Moretti

Il Caimano Nanni Moretti
Any sensible person takes exception to Silvio Berlusconi’s rightwing reign of error, and Nanni Moretti is an eminently sensible person. What’s surprising is how he launches his sneak attack against the capital-loving, media-manipulating Prime Minister of Italy: through the bumbling of a lovably deluded B-movie producer.

Bruno (Silvio Orlando) is a conservative schlock impresario who’s at the end of his rope. His last anti-Maoist actioner died at the box-office ten years ago and his attempted comeback is scotched when his chosen director jumps ship at the last minute. Given one meeting with Italian TV giant RAI, he hastily proposes a script handed to him at a screening that he hasn’t read, which is an attack on Berlusconi, who owns the private broadcasters and controls the public ones.

The ensuing struggle to find a star and gain financing is itself hilarious but so too is Bruno’s adorably pathetic attempts to keep control of his life: his pride dictates that he won’t tell his kids that he’s separated from his wife (a terrific Margherita Buy) or face the facts that his crumbling studio is dangerously close to the auction block. His fantasised stability mirrors that of Berlusconi’s, and his reluctant need to tell the PM’s tale is a fascinatingly complex story of facing facts even when one doesn’t like the information.

The movie is that rarest of beasts: a pop satire that’s funny without seeming crass and witty without seeming smug. This was a rather large-sized hit in Italy and may have had a small part in unseating (by a pathetically small margin) the big man in the last elections. (Christal)