Magazine article Screen International

'Like Crazy': Cannes Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Like Crazy': Cannes Review

Article excerpt

Dir: Paolo Virzi. It-Fr. 2016. 114mins

The lopsided but strangely beneficial friendship between two Italian women from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum who find themselves playing hooky from a congenial halfway house for the mentally ill is explored with vibrant strokes in Like Crazy (La Pazza Gioia). A jaunty tale of mental illness shot with real verve, this high-energy romp is a superb showcase for its two lead actresses as they impetuously extend a group outing from the residential clinic into a two-character outlaw adventure, relying on luck, chutzpah and the kindness of strangers. This is a crowd-pleasing bittersweet comedy in which tragic circumstances are attenuated by moral support from unusual quarters.

An alleged countess whose great aunt owned the villa where she is now under house arrest, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's seemingly innate flightiness and patrician bearing make her a perfect fit for Beatrice, a melancholy wacko with a sense of entitlement as big as the Ritz. It's safe to say that nobody else at the psychiatric facility the Villa Biondi has George Clooney on speed dial or high-end designer clothes in their closet.

As new arrival Donatella, Micaela Ramazzotti, bedecked in tattoos ("Get a notepad if you want to write something down," chides Beatrice when Donatella exposes the underside of her upper arm to display the permanently inked name of her father's band) plays a wide spectrum of emotions with great skill. …

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