Plot: Despite being from very different social backgrounds, fish monger Carlo (Alessandro Gassmann) and bon vivant Tony (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) fell in love. Now they just have to tell their families who don’t even know that they are into men in the first place. Carlo’s son Sandro (Filippo Scicchitano) struggles with his own homomisia and wonders whether his father ever loved his mother, while Tony’s daughters Penelope (Jasmine Trinca) and Olivia (Clara Ponsot) seem more accepting at first. But Penelope in particular finds that she cannot let her father marry a man and conspires with Sandro to break the two of them up.
Croce e delizia is the cinematic equivalent of a beach read: it’s light, a little shallow and an entertaining way to pass the time that probably won’t have a deep impact on anyone beyond that. I had fun with it.
As the 19th century draws to a close, Marie-France’s (Noémie) brothel has a good reputation and is rather well-visited. Nevertheless Marie-France struggles with debt just as her girls struggle with their debt to her. As they engage with the clients in more and much less benign ways and find the support they need in the friendships with each other, all of them dream of freedom.
L’Apollonide is a fantastic movie with wonderful actresses, a great story and beautiful settings that grabbed me from the start and didn’t let me go again.