Director Silvio Soldini has just made a fan out of me, and his film "Cosa Voglio di Più" [Eng. Title: What More do I Want] has definitely made me eat my words about contemporary Italian cinema being rudderless. This is probably the best film I've seen this year, and would be surprised if it doesn't pick up any awards along the way.
Anna, an accountant, is living with Alessio, who runs a department store. He loves her deeply, and wants to take their relationship to the next level, i.e., wants to have a child of their own. Anna first sees Domenico, a married man with children, at an office party - he works for the catering firm used for the party. When he casually invites her for a cup of coffee one day, Anna agrees, allowing herself some indulgence after a good day at work. Despite knowledge of their circumstances, they embark on an affair, and find themselves unable to control the course of events.
True, several films had been made with this theme, but what sets this apart is the very realistic manner in which it builds their relationship. The screenplay and direction is the result of acute observation of human behaviour. The director develops the characters gradually, sometimes using seemingly irrelevant details, until we get to know them quite intimately, and the infrequent silent scenes are used for the protagonists to portray the complexity of their predicament as they embark on this dangerous journey. The film firmly establishes that these are normal people who have to deal with normal day-to-day problems, and who are not in a position to 'afford' their indulgence. Whether we agree with their choice of action or not, it is depicted objectively and in a non-judgemental way. And the strong technical and creative team that Mr. Soldini had at his disposal, notably editing and set design, certainly helped in producing this flawless little gem. It is for these reasons that I think this is an important film.
The unassumingly sexy Alba Rohrwacher plays Anna quite brilliantly in the film, as does the well respected actor who plays Domenico, Pierfrancesco Favino. The passionate sex scenes in the film are plainly essential to advance the story, and it is great to see that there is genuine chemistry between the actors playing the lovers. I originally saw a screener version of this film, and promptly had to order a DVD (from which these scenes were cut). Needless to say, Highly Recommended Viewing..!
Made of two scenes. First is when Anna and Alessio have their inaugural shower together in their new cubicle. The second is when Anna and Domenico finally manage to make time and book a tacky Motel for their first sexual encounter.
Made from four different scenes of Anna and Domenico together. There is always an air of tension in these scenes, beautifully portrayed by Alba Rohrwacher.