At the press conference after the screening, Tognazzi said she wanted to “make a film about love, but seen through the eyes of a man, which is perfectly common in music and literature, but quite rare in film, where it is usually women who suffer and weep”. Indeed, the film’s originality lies in the fact that, as the title reveals, the active subject of the verb “to love” is a man, Roberto, played by Pierfrancesco Favino, who loses and denies this sentiment.
This male perspective is all the more unusual given that the film is helmed by women. Directed and produced by Tognazzi and Donatella Botti respectively, the title stars actresses Monica Bellucci and Ksenia Rappoport and the soundtrack is composed by Carmen Consoli.
However, beyond the question of gender, Tognazzi and her cast emphasised that the film –produced by Bianca Film and released domestically by Medusa – explores love in all its various forms: romantic and filial love, love that is ending and love that is beginning, unconditional love and love that becomes routine, love that is a matter of life or death and love that returns when you’re least expecting it.
The director – who belongs to the Tognazzi family, one of the great dynasties of Italian film (another of the main themes at this year’s Rome Film Festival) – has set her story in a grey and cold Turin, whose atmosphere is enhanced by the masterful cinematography and editing.
Sergio Ríos Pérez cineuropa.org