La Pazza Gioia is the latest film by Paolo Virzí featuring Micaela Ramazzotti and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. The story follows the life events of two women who meet in a psychiatric clinic. I liked the film, because the plot is original and it focuses on dramatic life stories but with a touch of irony.
It has the feeling of a road movie, referencing Thelma and Louise (1991) and Il Sorpasso (1962). The classy convertible Lancia car is well suited for the escape scene of these two very different women, who find in their solitary redemptions a strong bond. They represent different sets of problems and social class. We slowly discover what went wrong with their lives as their odd friendship develops. Complexities of real lives are narrated within a fictional paradigm that focuses on emotions rather than documenting.
Are you crazy?
Some psychiatrists say we are!
As we are carried into their different worlds, newly lived experiences gives space to a more positive outlook, with funny scenes along the way. The actresses are incredibly talented to show us sets of emotions of subjects who rarely take centre stage in the movie industry. This director is especially fond of such stories and each film (12 so far) is not a repeat of his last.
His previous movie, Il Capitale Umano, focused on something completely different, but it was during its shooting that Virzí came up with his idea for La Pazza Gioia, by observing and getting carried away by the way Micaela Ramazzotti and Valeria Bruno Tedeschi met on the set for the first time and interacted.
It was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. On that occasion, the director gave an interview in Italian, subtitled here in French. A nice treat for the polyglots.
‘I tried to tell the pain of life with a smile, with irony, with a ridiculous appearance even.’ (Paolo Virzí, director and screenwriter)
It is currently being shown in The Netherlands and I recommend rushing to watch it before you miss it.