Me and You
Bernardo Bertolucci is well known for controversial films such as The Dreamers, but Me and You shows a much tamer though no less captivating aspect to his filmmaking talents.
Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) is a 14 year old boy who appears strange and troubled to his mother due to his introverted nature. He prefers to disappear into an isolated world, provided through such things as his music, where he can put on his headphones and feel contentedly detached from others.
When Lorenzo hears that his school is conducting a ski trip he hatches a plan to pretend to his mother that he is going, but in actuality hides in the basement, free to spend his time as he pleases in complete solitude. Things are disrupted, however, when his stepsister, Olivia (Tea Falco) arrives unexpectedly, adding a volatile personality to the mix that stirs up the characters’ emotions and triggers the crafting of a connection between the two.
This is really a film about character, focusing on the complexities of Lorenzo and Olivia, as well as their transformations. It is with this in mind that the performance of the two leads is all the more admirable, with Antinori and Falco giving the simple structure of the plot a mesmerising and powerful hold over the audience.
The majority of the film is contained within the basement, creating an often awkward, tense and suffocating dynamic between Lorenzo and Olivia. While Lorenzo is used to being alone, Olivia, as a drug addict going cold turkey, forces him to face others and the harshness of reality.
As with any meaningful relationship, both learn necessary lessons from one another and grow to become stronger, more understanding individuals as the film progresses. This journey is far from easy though, which gives the content its realistic edge. At many points there is uncomfortable sexual tension between the two, successfully transferring the mixed and confused feelings of the characters across to the audience.
While in no way action packed, Me and You is an engaging film that is slow-paced and intriguing so as to immerse the viewer in the content in a way that will feel personal, leaving behind a strong memory of its characters.
Me and You is released in selected cinemas on 19th April 2013.
Watch the trailer for Me and You here: