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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

Ernesto *

Starring: Federico Musso

Directors: Alice de Luca, Giacomo Raffaelli

Country: Italy

Ernesto (Musso) is a young Italian, finding his feet as an adult in Rome. He still lives with his mother, but floats between people and projects, trying to find himself through encounters with friends and strangers. We follow him through his trysts with girls and boys, throwing himself whole-heartedly into temporary relationships, which fizzle away as quickly as they began. But all the while, he is struggling with his own pain, trying to understand who he is.

Federico Musso is charming as the titular Ernesto, but the film itself is a mess, cramming together encounter after encounter without narrative or even a thematic joining of the dots. Maybe he is trying to find himself, but as what or for what purpose remains particularly unclear. Ernesto appears blank-faced and anaesthetised, so as he propels himself zombielike through these maddeningly pointless vignettes, it doesn’t take long before the film feels completely inconsequential.

This is a film that has found an audience solely based on the looks of its star. The camera positively drinks his doe-eyes, but a pretty face does not a movie make. The directors have stated that they used an unusual aspect ratio to make the film feel like fragmented memories, but just as our memories are incoherent without context, so too is this film. If you’re happy to watch a pretty young man go about his day, I’m fairly sure there’s webcam shows that provide that service, but they’ll be just as boring as this insignificant film.


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