The Dardenne Brothers co-produced this engagingly offbeat character study, which, like the acclaimed auteurs’ own work, is set on the lowest rungs and in the outermost margins of society. The film’s sinister humor and subtle surrealism, however, belong entirely to writer-director-star Ascanio Celestini. He plays Nicola, an aimless alcoholic who (barely) supports himself doing (wildly inappropriate) children’s theater, but primarily spends his time wandering the outskirts of Rome in his big red van and consorting with various other misfits: a fellow barfly (Alba Rohrwacher), a prostitute (Veronica Cruciani), and a con man (Salvatore Striano) who teaches Nicola the tricks of his trade. Their intersecting lives form a picaresque, ultimately poignant portrait of people on the edge.
North American Premiere
This film has no current screenings