Director: Carlo Sironi
Cast: Sandra Drzymalska, Claudio Segaluscio, Bruno Buzzi, Barbara Ronchi, Marco Felli
Two very different teens involved in a surrogate motherhood scheme learn how to live. – Letterboxd
Teen pregnancy and being arranged to a fake as a couple brings Lena and Ermanno, two previously teen strangers together, as they get through the remaining 3 weeks of Lena’s pregnancy under his care at his home so that she can then pass it over through foster case (or adoption) to Ermanno’s uncle Fabio and his wife.
Nothing gives characters coming of age like a tough situation. Two inadvertently different teens at the beginning get brought together as Lena enters into Ermanno’s seemingly pointless life that involves doing petty thefts and gambling away his money at slot machines and never doing more because he doesn’t feel that he is good at anything. While he doesn’t care initially about Lena, her personality and her situation also brings him a new direction as she works hard towards the next step in her future, never quite letting her pregnancy and the life after being a concern. However, things change when Lena gives birth too early to pass over the baby to the adoptive parents and has to take care of her baby until she is ready to eat independently. Its this transition that proves to create the bond that will put into question whether not only Lena, but also Ermanno, can go through with the initial plan.
In many ways, its more of Ermanno’s coming of age as he finds his value and the things and people that he wants to live for and starts taking a step forward and not hoping but taking actual actions. While Ermanno’s character does really say a lot and is mostly trudging around from one place to the next, it fits surprisingly well. Claudio Segluscio‘s first acting role as this character that has a lot of development because of meeting Lena definitely works better than it would seem. Sandra Drzymalska plays Lena and has a lot more acting experience and you can tell from her character that also doesn’t say much but observes a lot of her surroundings. From her little reactions and how she expresses herself through her looks and exchanges with Ermanno, there is a good connection between them. Lena is a tough character and Drzymalska delivers it very well especially as she has to make a tough decision.
While Sole isn’t a script that brings a lot of surprises or is very different from what you’d expect from teen pregnancy or two teens set into a situation as strangers for money essentially in the beginning, its how these characters grow as well as how some of these shots are framed, which are done so beautifully to capture the mood of the situation. The end game is rather predictable as well but because the connection with the characters are done so well that it actually is quite an emotional one as well.
All in all, Sole was a touching little experience. Its a slow-burn and rather quiet in the as a whole but the characters feel genuine especially for the age they are portraying. There’s a lot of care taken in building the right feeling here and for myself, it lands really well. Sometimes, its those subtle moments and the gradual development that ends up being much more profound than having constant big gestures. Its not easy to do and yet director Carlo Sironi does it so well here.
Sole has one more screening during Festival du Nouveau Cinema on October 20 at 8:55pm at Cineplex Odeon Quartier – Salle 14. You can find more info HERE.