Gorbaciof (Empire review)

GorbaciofSquareWith fewer words than those comprising this review, hangdog-face actor Tony Servillo (Gomorra, Il Divo) manages to create one of Italian cinema’s most indelible characters: a nattily-dressed, quietly self-possessed Neapolitan, whose nickname derives from the prominent birthmark on his forehead, and whose only passions are gambling and Lila (newcomer Mi Yang), a beautiful Chinese girl. With no language in common, their blossoming romance is based on meaningful looks and gestures. It’s a conceit which enables writer-director Incerti to develop his narrative through actions rather than words, lending the film a European-Asian sensibility entirely in keeping with the affair at its heart. Ultimately, its lyrical nature may be too slight for some, but there’s no denying the depth of feeling beneath the surface of this unique, bittersweet love story.

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