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Primo Amore (2004)

2.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An artist's strange obsessions take a grim toll on the woman he's fascinated with in this drama from Italy. Vittorio (Vitaliano Trevisan) is a jewelry designer who is set up on a blind date with Sonia (Michela Cescon), a attractive woman whose figure is slightly zaftig but well proportioned. Over the course of their date, Vittorio, an obsessive artist who doesn't do well in contact with others, tells Sonia, who is close to few people besides her brother, that he would be more interested in her if she lost some weight. Sonia is miffed at Vittorio's blunt statement, but he persuades her to spend more time with him, and as she grows fond of him, she accepts his offer to move in with him. Soon, Vittorio has put Sonia on a strict regimen of diet and exercise, in a bid to reduce her weight; as he becomes increasingly obsessed with her body, her hunger and exhaustion begin to cause hallucinations, and soon she can no longer tell what around her is real and what is imagined. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michela Cescon, Vitaliano Trevisan, Roberto Comacchio, Alberto Re, Paolo Capoduro
  • Directors: Matteo Garrone
  • Writers: Vitaliano Trevisan, Matteo Garrone, Marco Mariolini, Massimo Gaudioso
  • Producers: Domenico Procacci, Laura Paolucci
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009HBPEY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,476 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Primo Amore (2004)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on February 24, 2007
Format: DVD
Just hearing the plot of "Primo Amore," without any preconceived notions, I suspected this film was for me. I enjoy stories of psychological torment (yikes, maybe I need professional help), and this film has a premise that is both topical and relevant in today's appearance obsessed culture. Writer/director Matteo Garrone has crafted an interesting, unpleasant and creepy tale of obsession and love. Focusing on one man's concept of perfection, the film details one woman's attempt to meet that need--despite any consequences.

The film begins as we are introduced to Vittorio, a goldsmith played by Vitaliano Trevisan. He is meeting Sonia (Michela Cescon) who has just arrived for a first date after some form of long distance communication. Hoping for a love connection, Sonia is immediately disappointed that Vittorio is looking for someone thinner. The irony is that Sonia is a lovely and healthy woman, full of life, and confident enough with herself to be a nude art model. The two share a drink, and Vittorio is intrigued by Sonia--though with her weight "problem," he expects any attempt at a relationship would end in disaster. Despite his misgivings, he pursues Sonia and as the two embark on a relationship--he gets Sonia to go on a strict diet.

The psychological process that begins as Sonia accepts her new role in Vittorio's life is chilling and believable. The two end up isolating themselves, and this obsessive tale of love turns darker by the moment. The film doesn't shy away from showing Sonia's physical and mental deterioration, and it is harrowing and heartbreaking. There seems to be nowhere that this tale can go, and everything seems to be leading to an unpleasant, but necessary, conclusion.
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Format: DVD
I slipped on the same banana peel with Garrone's "Primo Amore". His previous work "The Embalmer" had a great opportunity to be an outstanding film, but unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations. It was advertized much more interestingly than the film itself actually turned out to be. Though the idea was quite good. Same thing with "Primo amore" (First Love). I decided to buy it firstly because I saw some potential in "The Embalmer" and secondly because the plot seemed rather intriguing. And I was a bit disappointed again. Don't get me wrong - I think the story itself was fascinating, the acting was just superb, beautiful music helped creating really magnificent atmosphere. It was the execution of the story that lacked.

Vittorio is looking for an ideal woman meaning both body and mind. Problem is his ideal should weigh the least possible. 40kg would be fine. So when he finds Sonja who he begins to live with, he starts looking after her weight pushing her to lose it. Seems Sonja is OK with it, so she follows his orders, but it's obvious this kind of a story can only end tragically...

Nice story-line skids all the time, it lacks some action besides I couldn't get the characters' motivation. Seems like they are not normal people but somnambulists who don't act on their own according to their desires but obey a puppeteer-director. "Primo amore" is viscous and slow, all the time I wished I could hit the gas. Usually this kind of slow-moving features have a great psychological level which you got to dig out. Well, here I didn't notice any psychology. If we could just see feelings of the two main characters, if we could understand their experience and affliction... But we can't because the characters are rather plain and cardboard. The whole movie lacks some depth.
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Format: DVD
Writer/director Matteo Garrone has created in PRIMO AMORE yet another atmospheric film (not unlike 'L'Imbalsamatore') that deftly explores the dark side of human interactions and motivations. His style is gothic in nature but with a contemporary setting manipulated with quirky camera work and artistically designed sets that give the viewer the feeling of watching an experiment in a laboratory, the characters all being bounded by cage-like visual devices. Yes, this is film noir, but Garrone develops his bizarre characters so well that we grow along with their transformations into the icons they become.

Vittorio (Vitaliano Trevisan) is a goldsmith who exists on the modest, long-held family business of creating jewelry from molten gold in the ancient manner. We first meet him looking through the grid of a train station where he awaits Sonia (Michela Cescon), a young girl who has answered his classified ad for a date. They meet, Sonia is pleased, but Vittorio tells her right away that he expected her to be thinner. Sonia offers to return to her home out of town, a garden home she shares with her robust brother (Roberto Comacchio), but Vittorio decides he wants to try the date. They have a little courtship and all seems to go well until Vittorio begins to suggest that Sonia lose weight. They move into a nice home ('the site of Romeo and Juliet' the realtor boasts) and their coexistence begins.

Vittorio is confronted with the needs of his business expanding stimulated by an offer to partner his business from an entrepreneur who insists Vittorio make only heavy bracelets and substantial jewelry in response to what the public is buying: Vittorio has always preferred the tiny, thin, light weight delicate carvings of beauty rather than the bulkier profitable items.
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