The Family Friend (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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Fans of his previous movie The Consequences of Love will admire the enigmatic tenor and architectural compositions of Paolo Sorrentino's latest, which begins intriguingly with the image of a nun buried up to her head in sand. Giacomo Rizzo plays Geremia, a Roman moneylender and misanthrope, who becomes obsessed with the voluptuous daughter of a local bigwig and strikes a cynical deal with her on her wedding day. Unfortunately, Sorrentino seems reluctant to concentrate, and veers off on tangents just as the narrative promises to become interesting. Rizzo, with his Mr Punch face and waddling walk, looks like a remnant from commedia dell'arte, and he nails the miser's role with alacrity. But even his character offers less in the way of spiritual and dramatic complexity than we had been led to hope.

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