Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) (3 stars)

Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti)

Enjoyable gay rom-com-cum-family soap by Turkish/Italian filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek

(12A) 112min

This gay rom-com-cum-family soap by Turkish/Italian filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek is as enjoyable as his winning 1996 debut, Hamam (The Turkish Bath). And over the 14 years since that international success introduced a bright new talent to queer cinema, Ozpetek has developed his skills as writer and director to the point where his stylish and highly cinematic latest venture can rightly be compared to the films of Pedro Almodovar.

Set in the sunny southern Italian town of Lecce, Loose Cannons concerns the efforts of the youngest sibling of the eccentric Cantones, Tommaso (Riccardo Scamario), to break free from the family pasta factory business and become a novelist – by announcing that he’s gay. When his bid for freedom is undermined by the actions of his older brother, Tommaso resigns himself to life with his family. Despite becoming interested in poor little rich girl Alba (Nicole Grimaudo), however, Tommaso struggles to undertake his familial duty at the expense of his natural desires.

The various machinations that follow are somewhat contrived and the themes – family secrets, stereotypical attitudes, unfulfilled dreams – are very recognisable. But Ozpetek’s film is so well made, so well-meaning and so warm and witty that it easily surmounts the familiar material.

GFT, Glasgow and selected cinemas, from Sun 2 Jan.

Loose Cannons clip

Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti)

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • Italy
  • 1h 53min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ferzan Ozpetek
  • Cast: Riccardo Scamarcio, Alessandro Preziosi, Nicole Grimaudo

Warm-hearted coming-out comedy set in Southern Italy from the director of Hammam: The Turkish Bath, relating the youngest son of the eccentric Cantone clan's struggles to escape a destiny in the family pasta factory by pretending to be gay. Typically, all does not go as planned.

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