Star-pow­ered car­a­van of courage

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

his wife Mi­caela Ra­maz­zotti along­side Va­le­ria Bruni Tedeschi as two women who make a break for mad free­dom from a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal.

Virzi, 54, is, as he puts it, ‘‘a son of the Ital­ian cin­ema and proud of that’’, but he also feels he owes a per­sonal debt to Robert Alt­man and Martin Scors­ese, even to the much younger Alexan­der Payne.

Rev­er­ence for Amer­i­can cin­ema has its own pit­falls, of course. ‘‘It was a risk to get stuck in cliche, like it hap­pens to many very good Amer­i­can di­rec­tors when they come in Italy and shoot against the back­drop of Italy’s pic­turesque places,’’ he says.

In Michael Zadoo­rian’s source novel, John and Ella drive Route 66. Virzi baulked at film­ing in iconic Monument Val­ley, so re­lo­cated the drive to ‘‘the lan­guid and sweet land­scape’’ of the East Coast. He hopes he avoided car­i­ca­tur­ing the coun­try. ‘‘I am Paolo Virz The Leisure Seeker

Don­ald Suther­land de­scribes his co-star He­len Mir­ren as a ge­nius.

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