Sundance 2019: Dolce Fine Giornata

Kasia Smutniak, Antonio Catania and Krystyna Janda appear in Dolce Fine Giornata by Jacek Borcuch, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Sonia Szstak.

When Maria Linde dares to have an opinion in Dolce Fine Giornata amid a changing society, she manages to suffer the consequences.

Maria Linde (Krystyna Janda) is a poet who appears to have the best of everything as she lives with her husband in Italian province of Tuscany.  She did’t always live in Italy.  Both of her parents survived the Holocaust and she was born in Poland.  She has a loving family and a Nobel Prize in Literature on the way.  This includes her husband, Antonio (Antonio Catania), and daughter, Anna (Kasia Smutniak).  Things change when she meets an Egyptian immigrant, Nazeer (Lorenzo de Moor).  He runs an inn along the seaside and there’s something about him that affects her.  Even though he’s a Copt, there are people are afraid of him.  It’s not right or fair but it is what it is.

What is very fascinating about Dolce Fine Giornata is that this is a film that could just as easily take place in America.  I say this because of the immigration debate that doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.  Here’s a woman who stands up for her own opinion before making the decision to give up the Nobel Prize.  Never mind the fact that she’s Jewish.  Never mind the fact that it makes people upset.  We’re not talking the basic “it will pass” upset because we’re talking the whole nine yards.  We’re talking about a police commissioner, Lodovici (Vincent Riotta), begging her to reconsider!  Peer pressure can only do so much but it amounts to nothing when it comes to standing you’re ground.

Jacek Borcuch and Szczepan Twardoch have co-written a script–which Borcuch also directs–that speaks to conditions in present-day Europe.  European citizens have this fear of what might happen with an influx of immigrants.  Other films playing at Sundance will speak to the other side of the equation.  This is a script that goes straight to the heart of that fear.  Whether its’s American or European news doesn’t matter.  After all, we’re seeing what happens in America with an immature president in command but that’s another story for another day. These two writers have not just that they’ve written Maria Linde as a strong woman but that they do so in a film that’s strikingly relevant.

Michał Dymek has a beautiful way of capturing the frame.  His camerawork only serves to reinforce the fact that Maria is such a strong woman.  This brings me to my next point.  Krystyna Janda portrays Maria in a way that’s full of grace.

If you’re looking for a film with a strong woman who will stand up for her beliefs, look no further than Maria Linde in Dolce Fine Giornata.

DIRECTOR:  Jacek Borcuch
SCREENWRITERS:  Jacek Borcuch, Szczepan Twardoch
CAST:  Krystyna Janda, Kasia Smutniak, Vincent Riotta, Antonio Catania, Robin Renucci, Lorenzo de Moor

Dolce Fine Giornata holds its world premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.  Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.