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A Sadly Forgotten Gem, 14 October 1999
This movie is one of the best films the great Italian director, Ettore Scola has ever made. It also has a fantastic cast, all doing a great job, but, is seems the late Massimo Troisi does outshine them all, with a stunning performance as Pulcinella, a Sancho Panza sort of clown. This fantasy, dream-like tale, is based on the famous book by the same name by Théophile Gautier, the French author. This is actually the 5th movie adaptation of this novel, which must tell you something about its force to attract generations of film makers.
Vincent Pérez plays Baron of Sigognac, a young royal, whose quest for material wealth brings him true love and revelations on the nature of this world. The plot themes are somewhat related to Stoppard's excellent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - both uses the traveling players to explore the nature of the human condition. One might also recall Bergman's Seventh Seal, but Fracassa is more akin of Stoppard's light hearted, witty, approach to those grave subjects.
A truly exceptional, beautiful and entertaining film, a long standing achievement for all involved, surely better than Il Postino, though, sadly, much less known. Surely overdue for re-release?