Appassionata Film Details
Overview: A married dentist gets embroiled in a sexual affair with his teenage daughter’s best friend. Meanwhile, his wife’s mental health is deteriorating, and his daughter is desperate for an affair of her own.
Review: This movie is very controversial because of its theme: the incestuous passion of a teenager daughter for his father. Nevertheless it’s not an X-rated film. It’s an Italian picture, category “A”, very well done and with an outstanding cast in the starring roles. Dr. Emilio Rutelli (Gabrielle Ferzzetti) is the father of a middle class family, a professional dentist, a middle age man, a paragon of virtue because his wife Elisa, acted by Valentina Cortese, suffers of a chronic psychological illness that prevents her to fulfill her duties, both as a wife and as a mother. It’s a hard experience to endure, because in the past she has been a concert piano player, and she maintains the ways of a diva, wandering about her house in her dream world. Nevertheless her husband refuses commit her to an institution because she is partially in touch with the reality and she is very attached to her house with her piano and her wardrobe full of beautiful party dresses and to her only teenage daughter, Eugenia (Ornella Muti), to whom she treats as a child. Emilio has no heart to separate her of her familiar surroundings and he is incapable to admit that this situation has created a void in his sexual life and that he is acting in the role of father and mother of his daughter who is passing through the difficult period of a girl becoming a woman. And to make matters worse, the intimate friend of his daughter, Nicola (Eleonora Giorgi) feels that she is abandoned by her parents due to her father is a diplomat and he is residing outside the country, and she transforms a dental consult in a quick sex session for the embarrassment of Dr. Emilio who, in a first moment, thinks that the anesthetic agent has clouded the good sense of his young patient. This is the first step to his fall because the flesh was stronger that ethics. The young girls are interpreted by Ornella Muti and Eleonora Giorgi, both beautiful, and living a kind of rivalry, outside and inside the movie: the brunette versus the blonde. They give the edge to this film because they act very well, both are sexy and they make some brief bold scenes. Sadly, this is the only time that they met in front of the camera. Many years later, in 2003, they met in opposite sides of the camera when Eleonora Giorgi chose her old friend Ornella Muti to act in her “Ópera Prima” as a director “Uomini & Donne, Amori & Bugie”. Kudos for Valentina Cortese and her excellent portrait of a deranged woman. I knew she was a very capable actress because I have seen her starring in The house on Telegraph Hill (1951) along her husband at that time, Richard Basehart and in supporting roles in Malaya (1949) with Spencer Tracy and James Stewart and The Barefoot Contesa (1954) with Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner and Rossano Brazzi. In conclusion the director of Appassionata (Passionate), Gian Luigi Calderone, describes cinematically the antecedents that lead to the polemic denouement of the film and it’s up to us if we are satisfied or not with the psychological background that he offers to our consideration. Very good film to discuss in a forum after its projection. But, what is a real “mission impossible” is to find a good copy of this peculiar movie.
Language: Italian, English
Duration: 96 min
Also known as: Appassionata,Les Passionnées,Аппассионата,A Rebelde Apaixonada,Passionate,Dekaoktara kai pathiasmeni,Sklava tou pathous,Appassionata – Erstes Verlangen,Perversa