Viva la Liberta

Poker-faced Toni Servillo (Il Divo, The Great Beauty) takes on a dual role as an unpopular senator campaigning for reelection and his mentally unstable twin brother; after the politician cracks under the pressure and flees to the Parisian home of an old lover, his handlers recruit the sibling to fill in, and the twin’s wacky statements to the press immediately drive up the senator’s poll numbers. This watchable political satire (2013) follows in the tradition of such American comedies as The Candidate (1972), Being There (1979), Bulworth (1998), and Chris Rock’s underappreciated Head of State (2003). Closer to home, there’s a film clip of Federico Fellini denouncing politics as “the constant invention of reality”; ironically, what’s invented here pales in comparison to real Italian politics in all its color and vulgarity. Roberto Ando directed a screenplay he adapted from his own novel; with Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. In Italian with subtitles.