From acclaimed director Matteo Garrone, REALITY is a darkly comic look at Luciano, a charming and affable fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on the reality show Big Brother leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. So overcome by his dream of being on reality TV, Luciano s own reality begins to spiral out of control, making for one of the most compelling tragicomic character studies since Scorsese s The King of Comedy.
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Set in Naples we meet Luciano (Aniello Arena) who is a fishmonger in one of the City's beautiful piazzas. He is happily married with adoring children and as an extended family aswell as a network of supporting friends. He and his wife Maria (Loredana Simioli) also pull scams in order to bolster their income. They have a great line going on with robotic kitchen aids. Then so called `reality' TV show `Big Brother' comes to town for auditions. Everyone knows `Enzo' who won the previous year and is now in demand simply for being famous, weddings, bah mitzvahs, anything.
Well Luciano's daughter asks him to audition as he is always such a laugh at family gatherings and so he goes ahead. Then he gets asked to go to Rome for the interview and he sort of knows its a foregone conclusion that he will get in. He tells everyone and everyone in turn starts rooting for him. With the inevitable three month filming, he then thinks about creating a whole new life and binning the old one;...
Reality is the newest film by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone, the auteur behind 2008's Gomorrah. While that film focused on the criminal underworld of Naples, this follows the story of Luciano and his ambitions to appear on the reality television program Big Brother. Luciano is a wild character, always playing a role, always wanting to be seen, to be the center of a crowd. But when Big Brother has open casting near him, and his family prods him, he decides to audition.
He doesn't initially make it onto the show, but he is convinced that the audition continues, and believes that visitors to his fish stand might be secret scouts from the tv channel, checking to see if he is worthy of joining the cast. The borders of his day to day reality begin to fray, and a rich hopeful fantasy is developed wherein he might, if he is generous and good, eventually be chosen to be an Italian idol.
The film was initially described as a comedy, but I found it to be much darker than...
Matteo Garrone's Reality - winner of the Grand Prix award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival - is a marvelous piece of work. It is also, however, difficult to describe. The trailers for Reality, in my opinion, tend to give the wrong impression, that it is a comedy or a satirical send-up of reality shows. But while there are comedic moments in the film, particularly in the earlier parts, as the story progresses it draws you deeper and deeper into some dark territory, but it does it so gradually and seductively that even as your feelings of unease begin to rise, you cannot bring yourself to look away. The closest comparison I can make is to think of it as a combination of a dark twin-piece to 1998's The Truman Show, except that here the protagonist is outside looking in, and Josef von Sternberg's 1930 masterpiece The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel).
Set in the current day, Luciano (Aneillo Arena) is a likeable everyday guy in Naples. He has a good life, a loving family, and while...
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