Aprile New Restoration (DVD, Blu-Ray & Digital)

Release date 23rd November 2020

Welcome additions to StudioCanal’s Vintage World Cinema Collection are two of Italian film maker Nanni Moretti’s most outstanding movies.

Restored with all the care and precision that we have come to expect from StudioCanal and available on Blu-Ray for the first time, they serve to remind, if reminders are needed, just how important this individual and idiosyncratic director is.

First of these is Aprile (review of The Son’s Room will follow) a fictionalised version of his life at the time of his son’s birth, which coincided with a general election. Two years earlier, a colleague had convinced (the fictional version of) Moretti that he should make a documentary about the state of politics in Italy.

No progress has been made with this, and little more with his other project, a musical about a Trotskyist pastry chef in the 1950s. Bedevilled by doubts, and unable to concentrate on anything other than the impending birth of his son, his constant hesitations and indecision stall both these productions. Even his long-suffering wife Silvia (played by Moretti’s real life wife, Silvia Nono), struggles to calm him.

So, will fatherhood, coupled with what he sees as a favourable result in the election, get Nanni back on track? It’s worth watching to find out.

It’s hard not to like Moretti, he exudes warmth and his heart is in the right place, even while his mind is wandering off at tangents. Having said that, I do hope the on-screen version of him is an exaggeration, otherwise Silvia has my sympathies for putting up with him on a daily basis.

Jim Welsh

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