Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Fading Gigolo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexual content, language and brief nudity
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Explicit sexual references and situations, prostitution, nudity
Alcohol/Drugs:Alcohol
Violence/Scariness:Some violence
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:April 19, 2014

John Turturro wrote, directed, and stars in “Fading Gigolo,” a bittersweet meditation on the ways we seek and hide from intimacy, sometimes at the same time.

Turturro plays Fioravante, a florist who works part-time for Murray (Woody Allen), the third-generation proprietor of a used and rare bookstore.  But the bookstore is folding.  “Very rare people buy rare books.”

As they pack up the shop’s inventory, Murray tells Fioravante that his dermatologist said she was willing to pay for sex.  “Are you on drugs?”  “Apart from my Zoloft, no.”  The empty bookshelves suggest the sadness of anything or anyone who has something to give that is not being used.  Murray says he thinks the quiet, unassuming Fioravante would be just what this doctor ordered, and volunteers to act as the middle-man, or, to put it more directly, the pimp.

The subject matter and the presence of Allen suggest a broad comedy, something between “Deuce Bigalow” and “Deconstructing Harry.”  After an awkward start with female characters who are superficially drawn and some uneven tonal shifts, it becomes a thoughtful drama that gets much more interesting in the second half, when after encounters with gorgeous, successful, worldly women like the doctor (Sharon Stone) and her friend (Sofia Vergara), he takes on Avigal, a young widow from the ultra-Orthodox Satmar community (French singer Vanessa Paradis, in a performance of exquisite sensitivity).

YouTube Preview Image

The same quiet, sensitive quality that makes Fioravante careful and tender in taking care of plants makes him very good at his new job.  He gently dances with one of his clients to make her feel cherished.  And he is respectful of Avigal, caressing her back and letting her weep.

The Satmar community has its own police force.  Liev Schreiber plays an Orthodox cop, who wears a tallit under his uniform and whose professional responsibilities come second to some strong feelings he has for Avigal.

But the most compelling character here is the city itself.  Turturro skillfully shows us the complications, juxtapositions, and unexpected connections of the city’s diverse populations.  Gorgeous music weaves through the story to bring it together.  By the final moments, we see it is as carefully tended as Fioravante’s flowers.

Parents should know that this is a movie about prostitution and it has explicit content and strong language.

Family discussion:  What difference did Avigal’s relationship with Fioravante make in her life?  Were you surprised by the decision she made?

If you like this, try: “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Hester Street”



Previous Posts

When Boredom Beats Mental Busywork
I love this tribute to boredom on car trips with children.  I well remember being in the back seat with my sisters, alternating games of GHOST and Botticelli with highway bingo and, yes, arguing with each other about who had to ride in the middle.  What will today's children remember about family

posted 8:00:55am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Screenwriter Graham Moore on Writing About Smart People
One of the most touching moments of the 2015 Oscars broadcast was from Graham Moore, a 28-year-old screenwriter who won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for "The Imitation Game," based on mathematician Alan Turing's word to solve the Enigma code during WWII. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/wa

posted 3:59:29pm Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

YouTube's New Campaign for Women: #DearMe
What advice would you give your younger self?  In celebration of International Women's Day, take part in YouTube’s global #DearMe initiative to inspire and empower young girls everywhere. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AbqT_ubkT0Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 2:19:03pm Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Play the #1 Songs Since 1946
Playback.fm has all the top pop songs since 1946, with a clever app that lets you check out what was #1 the day you were born or on any other special day in your life.

posted 11:28:23am Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

This Week on USA: "Dig," Set in Jerusalem
I've been looking forward to this since I got a sneak peek last year at Comic-Con: "Dig" premieres on USA March 5, 2015 at 10 pm (9 Central), starring Jason Isaac and Anne Heche in a mystery miniseries filmed in part in Jerusalem. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embe

posted 8:00:49am Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.