Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.
Today, he spotlights Viva La Liberta.
Viva La Liberta Directed by Robert Ando Wednesday, November 19, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 20, 1:15 p.m SDFF Sie FilmCenter
The winner of the Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award, an annual highlight of the Starz Denver Film Festival, Viva La Liberta "is a comedy -- and a really fun look at Italian politics, which I get the sense isn't too difficult to make a comedy about.
"The film stars Tony Servillo as two brothers. One of them is an Italian politician and the other is a depressive, potentially mentally ill ex-professor who lives alone. Then, the politician has his own sort of mental breakdown, and he disappears right before a major Italian election. No one can find him and nobody knows what to do -- so they seek out his brother and convince him to stand in briefly for the politician-brother until they can track him down.
"They try to keep a handle on the brother, but that proves impossible. He starts showing up at huge rallies and speaks his mind -- and he proves to be an idiot savant and saves the party. Everybody loves him, and nobody wants the real politician to come back.
"It's a really fun, lovely story," Withey allows, as well as one that may prove irresistible to American movie producers: "It wouldn't be surprising at all if [a remake] shows up on American screens a couple of years from now."
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Below, see a trailer for Viva La Liberta. To access all the film festival's selections and purchase tickets, click here -- and be sure be to visit our Show and Tell blog each day during the fest for more of Brit's picks.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.