La Pazza Gioia

France, Italy 2016

Synopsis

Beatrice is a motor-mouthed fantasist, a self-styled billionaire countess who likes to believe she’s on intimate terms with world leaders. Donatella is a tattooed introvert, a fragile young woman locked in her own mystery. They are both patients at the Villa Biondi, a progressive but secure psychiatric clinic.

Paolo Virzì’s new film tells the story of the unpredictable and moving friendship that develops between the two women as they flee the mental institution in search of love and happiness in the open-air nuthouse – the world of sane people.

Biography

Paolo Virzì was born in Livorno, Italy in 1964, as the son of a Sicilian police officer in the ‘Carabinieri’ and a former singer. After spending his early childhood in Turin in the north of Italy, Virzì's family moved back to Livorno where he grew up in the working class area of ‘Le Sorgenti’. As a small boy, he started to cultivate his lifelong passion for literature: Mark Twain and Charles Dickens were among his favourite authors and their classic “coming of age” novels would later serve as a model for his screenplays.
As a teenager, Virzì's versatility was already in evidence as he threw himself into writing, directing and acting in plays for drama companies in Livorno. He formed an artistic partnership with his schoolmate Francesco Bruni, who would later become his trusted co-screenwriter. For a time, Paolo attended Literature and Philosophy classes at Pisa University and shot some short films and a few longer features that have since vanished in the annals of time. He then left Livorno for Rome, where he studied screenwriting at the historic ‘Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia’ film school, graduating in 1987. His teachers included prestigious film director, Gianni Amelio and the screenwriter of some of the greatest Italian movies of all time, Furio Scarpelli: Scarpelli was to play a crucial role in Virzì's life, becoming his mentor and his guide, his “maestro” in other words. Paolo co-wrote with Scarpelli the screenplay for Giuliano Montaldo’s TIME TO KILL, based on the novel by Ennio Flaiano and starring Nicolas Cage. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, he also co-wrote the screenplays of ON TOUR (1990), directed by Gabriele Salvatores, CONDOMINIO (1991), directed by Felice Farina, and CENTRO STORICO (1982), directed by Roberto Giannarelli. He also worked with the famous Neapolitan writer Raffaele La Capria on a TV movie directed by Alberto Negrin and adapted from the novel “Una questione private” (A Private Affair) by Beppe Fenoglio, starring young British actor and star of ROOM WITH A VIEW, Rupert Graves.

Filmography
2014 - HUMAN CAPITAL
2013 - EVERY BLESSED DAY
2011 - THE FIRST BEAUTIFUL THING
2008 - YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU
2006 - NAPOLEON & ME
2004 - CATERINA IN THE CITY
2002 - MY NAME IS TANINO
1999 - KISSES AND HUGS
1997 - HARDBOILED EGG
1996 - AUGUST VACATION
1994 - LIVING IT UP
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Paolo Virzi

Written by : Paolo Virzi, Francesca Archibugi

Produced by : Marco Belardi

Director of Photography : Vladan Radovic

Editor : Cecilia Zanuso

Production Design : Tonino Zera

Costume Design : Catia Dottori

Hair & Make up Artist : Esme Sciaroni, Daniela Tartari

Composer : Carlo Virzì

Sound Design : Daniela Bassani, Fabrizio Quadroli, Alessandro Bianchi, Gianni Pallotto

Main Cast : Micaela Ramazzotti, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Beatrice)

Animation : Paola Trisoglio, Stefano Marinoni

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 2016
  • EFA Selection 2016