Preview by: Jack Foley
ROMANCE and Cigarettes was once rumoured to be the next project
for Joel and Ethan Coen.
It has since been taken on by one of their favourite stars, John
Turturro, and will be playing in competition at this year's Venice
Film Festival (2005).
The film certainly has plenty of reasons to be interesting. It's
described on several websites as 'Pennies From Heaven meets The
Honeymooners' and boasts a really strong cast.
It's also a musical featuring Mr Soprano himself, James Gandolfini.
So what's it all about? Billed as a down-and-dirty musical love
story set in the world of the working class, the film finds Gandolfini
as a blue-collar ironworker, Nick, who builds and repairs bridges.
He's married to Kitty (Susan Sarandon),
a dressmaker, but is carrying on a torrid affair with a redheaded
woman named Tula (Kate Winslet).
Like Oedipus at Colonus, however, Nick is sent into exile and
searches to find his way back through the damage he has done once
his affair has been discovered.
The resulting film sets out to explore the cost and value of
a relationship through life and death.
And when the characters can no longer express themselves with
the spoken word, they break into song, which could be the film's
biggest selling point, or its crippling weakness.
The fact that it is playing in competition as part of a strong
Venice line-up suggests that Turturro has delivered the goods
to produce one of the more original and versatile films of the
It should open in the UK later this year.
Related story: Clooney
to play in competition at Venice 2005