Paolo Genovese’s adaptation of the FX television series The Booth at the End is set entirely in a gray, washed-out Italian bar; the only warmth onscreen comes from the red neon sign that proclaims both the name of the venue and of the existential drama at hand. A nameless man sits at the same table, day after day, as a steady stream of visitors joins him to make requests both life-changing and mundane: I want to cure my husband, I want to spend the night with a beautiful woman, I want to feel God’s presence once again. To each the man replies, “It can be done,” as he scribbles in his ledger and assigns a task they must complete in exchange for their wishes to come true: set off a bomb in a restaurant, protect a child, become pregnant. The haunting question is, to what lengths are people truly prepared to go to get what they think they need?
The Place has received numerous nominations for this year’s David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars), including a nod for Best Director.
SUBTITLED (Foreign language with on-screen subtitles)
Producer: Marco Belardi | Editor: Consuelo Catucci | Cinematographer: Fabrizio Lucci | Screenwriter: Paolo Genovese, Isabella Aguilar
Cast: Valerio Mastandrea, Marco Giallini, Alba Rohrwacher, Vittoria Puccini, Rocco Papaleo