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DIRECTOR: John Turturro
CAST: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofía Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
CLASSIFICATION: 13 L S
JOHN Turturro really comes out guns blazing in Fading Gigolo, proving his talent across the spectrum of writer, director and actor.
The 90-minute comedy has the audience on a rollercoaster ride through matters of money and love with Fioravante (Turturro) and his good friend Murray (Allen).
Fioravante is persuaded by the ever-convincing Murray – who has the canny ability to talk his way into and out of almost everything – to become a professional gigolo to help Murray out after he falls on difficult times.
With Murray as his pimp – or as he prefers to see things, his “manager” – the friends wind up on an adventure into the world of Casanova that has them crossing paths with a host of beautiful women, and even with a not-so-impressed Jewish orthodox organisation.
Turturro really pulls out all the stops. His writing is absolutely beautiful; his cast the envy of any respectable director and his direction when it comes to the sexuality is done tastefully.
That this movie marks one of the few appearances by Allen in a film not directed by himself, speaks volumes of Turturro.
His script allows the audience to connect with each character. He takes the oldest profession in the business and creates an endearing story around it.
The relationship Fioravante and Murray share is heart-warming. Their experiment with their “plumbing business” – as they refer to it at times – is also something of an emotional experience as Fioravante sometimes seems to battle within himself about his relationship with his clients.
Add to the mix a mischievous pair of friends – the smoking hot Dr Parker (Stone) and her friend Selima (Vergara) – a Rabbi’s wife (Paradis) and an on again, off again… on again, off again ménage à trois – I won’t spoil it and tell you exactly how these elements play out, but safe to say this film keeps you glued to your seat and cracking up with laughter!
Turturro’s A-list cast do an exemplary job of getting into the skin of their characters and aiding viewers in connecting with the people in this funny story and the film. Cinematographer/director of photography, Marco Pontecorvo, aptly captures the mood and feel of this film, in a discerning fashion.
A celebration of age, love and friendship – with loads of funny moments – this film is a highly engaging and entertaining watch.
• Screening at Cinema Nouveau