Francesca and Nunziata

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

This ornately designed, 19th century family epic, adapted from a novel by Maria Orsini Natale, seems mild compared to the controversial works that made Wertmüller's name. Francesca (Loren) is the head of a pasta empire, married to a foolish aristocrat (Giannini). Nunziata is the orphan they adopt to fulfil a vow. After some years, the couple's dreamy eldest son returns to Italy, and he and Nunziata fall into a helpless, secret romance while the family business slips into crisis. A frustratingly elliptical pace tests credulity, despite Gerini's elegant portrayal of Nunziata. That said, the classic Wertmüller pairing of Loren and Giannini retains a glorious charisma, their characters illustrating the director's argument that 'The wiser a woman is, the more she realises that her man should feel like a king at home, and not an asshole.'

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