Alessandro and Arturo (Edoardo Leo and Stefano Accorsi, respectively) are a couple who face a new challenge when their dear friend Annamaria (Jasmine Trinca) comes to their doorstep with her two children in tow. Annamaria wants to leave her kids with Alessandro and Arturo while she goes into the hospital for some serious tests. As the kids move in and the two men deal with the children, truths both good and bad are revealed and the film’s dramatic heft come to the fore.
Don’t be fooled into thinking “The Goddess of Fortune” (“La Dea Fortuna” in the original Italian) is another simple melodrama, it’s anything of the sort. It is much too smart for that.
Turkish-Italian filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek (“Loose Cannons”; 2010) has set his sights on the poignancy and importance of commitment; commitment to marriage, relationships, friendship and commitment to oneself.
Alessandro and Arturo have a relationship of compassion and genuine tenderness. However, the two men are dealing with a broken promise that would crush many couples. Arturo has taken a lover and has been seeing him for almost two years. As this comes to a head and the two men are trying their best to work through this reveal, it turns out that Annamaria needs to stay in the hospital longer than expected.
Production designer Giulia Busnengo (“La Grande Bellezza”) created a coldness that speaks to the film’s desire to show what an emotional tear can do to a relationship.
Cinematographer Gian Filippo Corticelli doesn’t overdo the camerawork, capturing the film’s emotional core with a subtle beauty.
The screenplay by Ozpetek, Silvia Ranfagni and Gianni Romoli certainly contains melodramatic elements but their writing gets to the soul of the characters and examines the power of unrestrained love without resorting to cliche.
The relationship between Alessandro and Arturo is in danger but the two men are written and acted so realistically that their love for one another is manifest and we want them to work things out.
While betrayal of one’s heart can be fatal to a relationship, the two men are realists. In a world of temptations and expectations regarding one’s sexuality, the human heart is fallible, and forgiveness can be granted if the foundation is strong. This test of their strength means stronger bonds between all the main characters.
Ferzan Ozpetek has created a multilayered character piece that finds its way into our hearts without being cloy or allowing cliches in. His well in-control directing is concentrated on character and on drawing out authentic human emotion.
“The Goddess of Fortune” is an excellent and mature work that embraces the connections we make and the importance of patience, forgiveness and understanding.