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Three Floors

Director: Nanni Moretti

Stars: Alba Rohrwacher, Riccardo Scamario, Alessandro Sperduti, Nani Moretti, Margherita Buy, Adriano Giannini, Elena Lietti

Committed performances from a top-flight cast aren’t enough to rescue this uncharacteristically soapy drama from Italian writer-director Nanni Moretti. Split into three parts that are separated by five years, it chronicles the travails of three neighbouring middle class families who live in a three-story building.

It begins in true melodrama style with a car crash as drunk teenage driver, Andrea (Sperduti) runs over and kills a pedestrian, before crashing into a neighbour’s ground floor apartment. His stern Judge father Vittorio (Moretti) is disgusted at his son’s seeming lack of remorse. Andrea’s mother Dora (Buy) is more sympathetic.

The apartment Andrea crashed into belongs to married couple Lucio (Scamarcio) and Sara (Lietti). They are traumatised further after an incident when they leave their daughter with a neighbour who is prone to bouts of dementia. Lucio, bizarrely, and in one of the film’s more problematic threads, then begins an affair with that neighbour’s underage granddaughter.

On another floor new mother Monica (Rohrwacher) is missing her husband Giorgio (Giannini) who frequently works away, while gravitating towards Giorgio’s estranged brother.

The portrayal of family units and individuals leading isolated lives in an atomised society may chime a little louder in the post-lockdown climate, but Moretti struggles to elevate this exploration of guilt and choice above the mere middlebrow. Cinematographer Michele D’Attanasio’s self-consciously no-frills camerawork adds to the dour feel.

Three Floors is out now.

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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