19 March 2010


Directed by: Marco Bellocchio
Written by: Marco Bellocchio & Daniela Ceselli
Full credits at IMDb

Humanizing portraits of WWII's larger-than-life villains appear on-screen regularly these days, but rarely so sexily: when was the last time the movies treated us to a glimpse of Hitler or Hirohito's member, as Vincere exposes Il Duce's dangler? A fiery melodrama that devolves into an overlong biopic, the high-pitched, epically soundtracked film posits Mussolini (a brooding and excitable Filippo Timi) not as a bad man of history so much as a bad man, period; it's less concerned with his crimes against humanity than against one human, his devoted secret-wife Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who gave the pre-dictator her body and bank account, then bore him a baby, just so he could deny her, have her arrested, beaten, stripped of her son and spirited to a series of asylums, where she died. The title means "To Win."

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