REVIEW: Miele

6 12 2014

MieleCannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard, 2013

The story of “Miele” begins where life would normally end.  Jasmine Trinca’s Irene (street name Miele, Italian for honey) spends her days helping the terminally ill in Rome end their misery with a strong dose of chemicals.  But all that comes to a screeching halt when she encounters a man, Grimaldi (Carlo Cecchi), who simply wants to stop living because of an existential pain, not a physical one.

What ensues is a very interesting friendship as Irene devotes herself not to illegally taking a life but to saving one.  The relationship between Irene and Grimaldi is always intriguing, and watching their interactions makes “Miele” worth a watch.  Trinca and Cecchi provide deeply humane performances as well, further augmenting the livelihood of the film in the face of mortality.

The plot does sag at times, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t come close to drifting off to sleep in my comfortable plush seat at Cannes.  (Those things always got me!)  But overall, I was glad I stumbled into this movie during some free time I had the festival.

It’s a promising feature debut for actress Valeria Golino, familiar to some as Susanna from “Rain Man.”  She certainly didn’t choose easy subject matter to begin her career behind the camera, and Golino handled it with respect and poise.  B2halfstars

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