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Vincere (2009)

Giovanna Mezzogiorno , Filippo Timi , Marco Bellocchio  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Corrado Invernizzi, Fausto Russo Alesi, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio
  • Directors: Marco Bellocchio
  • Writers: Marco Bellocchio, Daniela Caselli
  • Producers: Mario Gianani
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Subtitled, NTSC, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: IFC Independent Film
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003JHXS8C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,521 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vincere" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Acclaimed Italian director Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket; Devil in the Flesh) delivers his boldest work yet, an audacious, visually stunning film that the Village Voice calls a stylistic knockout about fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and the woman he loved, scorned, denounced and then wrote out of history. Rising actor Filippo Timi is magnetic in a dual role as both the steamrolling dictator and the son he refuses to acknowledge. And Giovanna Mezzogiorno (Love In The Time Of Cholera) delivers a career-making, award-winning performance as Ida Dalser, the lover who wouldn t go away. Bellocchio is a master of eroticism and their scenes of abandon are so powerful and reckless (The Hollywood Reporter called them steamy ), it s easy to understand why Dalser could never give him up. His rise to power and her descent into an insane asylum are tragic counterpoints in a doomed romance. Dalser may have been written off at the time, but Bellocchio and Mezzogiorno allow her a final, unexpected triumph in this cinematic masterwork.

Vincere (Italian for "win") doggedly portrays facets of a life hell-bent on the acquisition of power and fame. Italian director Marco Bellocchio (Devil in the Flesh), in his feature that has the high drama of opera and a soundtrack to match, tells the story of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini's transformation into Il Duce (Filippo Timi) in light of the women he loved and spurned. While Mussolini's official wife is mentioned, the focus here is on his secret first wife, Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who stars as a woman obsessed with claiming this megalomaniac as her husband despite her inability to provide officials with proof. Enter their child as evidence, Benito Albino (Fabrizio Costella), who as an adult is played by Timi to reinforce the physical resemblance to his father. One of the film's strengths is in how it follows Mussolini through his youngest years as a revolutionary, explaining his politics and his ability to rally citizens toward war. Though the story is dramatized, it is fascinating to understand how such a furious character charmed Italians. In early scenes, Ida's unflinching worship is also understandable, as Vincere implies that Mussolini's sexual appetites were as passionate as his political agenda. However, as Dalser and her son age, go into hiding, and face impending tragedies through the remainder of this very long feature, one loses any grasp on why Dalser continues to be obsessed with a man who obviously has no interest in her. While Mezzogiorno performs this mentally fragile woman with bravado, the character is extremely flawed and the plot does nothing to offer external perspectives to help viewers muster up sympathy. By the end, as the entire Mussolini enterprise crumbles, one is left frustrated by the stubbornness and blind devotion not only of Mussolini's fans, but also of the film's protagonist, Dalser, who remains statically on the road to downfall alongside her alleged husband. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Marco Bellocchio directed and wrote (with Daniela Ceselli) this very dark version of the private life of Benito Mussolini, a portion of his life that centered on his mistress and the mother of his son, one Ida Dalser. Though the film never really reveals whether Ida Dasler and Mussolini were married (Mussolini already had a wife and child when he me the devastatingly beautiful and erotic Ida) but that simply doesn't seem to matter while watching this artistic triumph of a film. What the director does manage to portray is the life and times of Italy before, during, and after WW I, a time during which Mussolini began his influence as a socialist and ultimately founded Italian Fascism, becoming the Fascist dictator of Italy. The many permutations of the concepts of monarchism and socialism and eventually Fascism are delineated by the film, if at times as shadowy in their explanation as is the director's love of dark in lighting the screen during almost all of the action. Bellocchio uses black and white film clips throughout his film giving it a somewhat documentary flair, but the performances by the actors make this film very much a visceral drama and not a dry rehash of history.

Filippo Timi gives a gripping performance as both Mussolini the ardent and handsome lover and politician whose life is always controlled by the term 'Vincere' ('Win'). Aptly, when the bulky monster Mussolini rises out of the socialism into fascism and the war the part of Mussolini is 'played' by the film clips of the real person. But as the film draws toward the end of his life, Timi once again enters the film in the role of his son Benito Albino Mussolini, a lad stricken with insanity and confined to a sanitarium.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The secret life of Mussolini September 9, 2010
The relationship between the Italian people and its political leaders is a complicated one that has been tackled recently by a number of Italian filmmakers, resulting in films as diverse as Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo on Giulio Andreotti and Nanni Moretti's satire on Silvio Berlusconi in The Caiman. Perhaps the greatest and most political of modern-day Italian directors, Marco Bellocchio takes on arguably an even more complex subject in Vincere, one whose relationship with the Italian people is even more difficult to define - that of Benito Mussolini.

Typically however, from the director who found poetic resonance in the 1978 kidnapping and murder of elder statesman Aldo Moro by members of the Red Brigade in Good Morning, Night (Buongiorno, notte), Vincere is far from a straightforward biopic. Bellocchio approaches his subject from a most unconventional angle, using the buried episode of Mussolini's secret first marriage to Ida Dalser, a marriage that would result in the birth of a child - unacknowledged by Mussolini - and the incarceration of Dalser in an insane asylum as Mussolini's rise to power called for a certain rewriting of his personal history. In their marriage, Bellocchio manages to examine the complicated nature of relationships between Italian men and women, and through it, say much about the nature of power in a wider historical and political context.

That still makes Vincere sound fairly conventional when in reality the film is much more complex in its structure and visual language.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
You may not learn a lot of historical facts surrounding the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's reign by watching director Marco Bellocchio's latest film, Vincere. But you will be highly entertained.

It's not that there isn't a lot of history packed into the film; it's just that because it was made for an Italian audience there isn't a lot of explanation or perspective given to the facts it presents. But so what? Ten minutes of watching Bellocchio's Mussolini work his way up the ranks of Italian politics will have you making a mental note to get a biography of the man from when you get home.

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An act of resistance May 21, 2010
Through the struggle of this woman, Vincere is not only a critique of fascism and the dictatorship of Mussolini.. It is too a real hymn to cinema as a medium conveying meaning in an alienated world. In this point of view, it is by itself an act of resistance, in a world invaded by advertisements, and whose Imaginary is colonized by the society of the spectacle.

Bellocchio offers us an operatic tour de force. Performance by both actors is exceptionnal, but especially from Giovanna Mezzogiorno, amazingly inhabited in the role of her young career, on par with Falconetti in Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. It is a performance and a movie that would indeniably have deserved more prizes, had Cannes 2009 jury been fair, or had Italy selected it as the Italian candidate for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Movie, instead of a more commercial one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For me good Bellocchio, not great. But that's still a lot.
Some amazing, poetic imagery, a great rich, almost operatic score, and a
hyper-emotional yet always grounded lead performance by Giovanna
Mezzogiomo make this film... Read more
Published on March 26, 2012 by K. Gordon
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting bit of (possible) history, but a tedious movie.
Some good, compelling scenes. Uniformly fine performances. An interesting bit of (possible) history. Read more
Published on November 19, 2011 by Michael Harbour
3.0 out of 5 stars clever filmmaking but inconsistent storytelling
Cinematically the movie looks great with very clever tricks used. Interspersing actual archival footage of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is very cool as are the HUGE black... Read more
Published on October 13, 2011 by Brian Maitland
3.0 out of 5 stars "A Weighty Film"
A lushly photographed film with a sweeping historical theme that fails to gain much traction by virtue of the very slow pace at which the drama unfolds. Read more
Published on August 15, 2011 by Cary B. Barad
2.0 out of 5 stars One could live without ever seen it
In my humble view, this is a side and insignificant story---A woman who claimed to be Mussolini's wife and mother of his first son, claims which she was unable to proof. Read more
Published on March 22, 2011 by Marx Lives
4.0 out of 5 stars Vincere
Vincere was an amazing piece of history which combined newsreels from the 30s and 40s with created scenes of the rise of Mussolini which came at a time when Italians were ripe for... Read more
Published on January 30, 2011 by MaddiBee
4.0 out of 5 stars Love for people and hate for someone who loved him!
Visceral portrait of a wealthy woman (Ida Dasler), dazzled by the sparkling charisma of this men's whisperer who committed the big mistake to fall in love with a man destined to be... Read more
Published on January 14, 2011 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the dictator as a young cad
Veteran Italian director Marco Bellocchio films this (for the most part) entertaining if tragic story of Benito Mussollini's alleged first wife, one Ida Dalser, punctuating the... Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by Andres C. Salama
3.0 out of 5 stars Mussolini's ghost...
A friend of mine put it to me this way: "with a subject so primed and ready for something `big', this film just doesn't `go there'". I totally agree. Read more
Published on December 27, 2010 by Andrew Ellington
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective product
Tha packaging was fine; however, the DVD was so defective that my player rejected it; when I tried to view it on a little portable player, the commercials were fine, but the film... Read more
Published on September 17, 2010 by Margaret M. Conti
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