It’s that time of the year again when the Italian Film Festival hits Adelaide. A Matter of the Heart (Questione di cuore) is my first selection this year and rather than starting with a bang – it starts with a heartwarmer. I have four more films to watch and tomorrow, I will watch two movies back-to-back! Hopefully my eyes won’t be too bleary at the end of the day. Last year I started my selection with Il Papá di Giovanna (Giovanna’s Father) which I didn’t really enjoy. This time around, I quite like A Matter of the Heart even though not as much as I thought I would.
The story is about Angelo (Kim Rossi Stuart) – a garage owner – who meets Alberto (Antonio Albanese) – a movie scriptwriter – in an Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Rome after both of them suffered a heart attack. Alberto is a womaniser who cannot appreciate his partner Carla (Francesca Inaudi) and is numb to the people around him, whereas Angelo is a family man with an expecting wife, Rossana (Micaela Ramazzotti) and two children. The heart attack makes Alberto discover the value of his life, however it makes Angelo obsessed with death and how to create a happy-ending for his family, which involves Alberto.
It’s a heartwarming story about love, life and death, and the camaraderie between two strangers united through a near-death experience. It’s also a story of family and what matters in life. The director (Francesca Archibugi) balances the story well not to make it a weep-fest whilst also keeping it sensitive to the storyline. The only thing that would’ve made me enjoy it more if the pace of the movie was more even – sometimes it just doesn’t flow that well. You’re not too sure whether the scene is a flashback or a parallel occurence or what happens next.
However, it is a good movie and it’s a good reminder about life – that it is worth living and that one needs to focus on the things that matter, like loved ones – family and friends.