Picks and Pans Review: Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man

updated 03/29/1982 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/29/1982 01:00AM

Bernardo Bertolucci has written and directed far better films than this melodrama about a weary, wealthy cheese mogul, Ugo (Cage Aux Folles) Tognazzi, whose son is apparently kidnapped by terrorists and held for a billion-lire ransom. There are baffling intricacies in the plot that unnecessarily complicate the anguish of Tognazzi, his wife, Anouk Aimée, and his son's girlfriend, the stunning Laura Morante. Tognazzi comes off as a detached dad who says selling his factory feels "like committing suicide"; it's hard to care about him. Bertolucci fans will have to see his 1970 The Conformist again for real political impact, Last Tango in Paris for intense relationships, Luna for liberating lust and 1900 for epic drama. Here he lapses into lines like "Morals don't count. What counts is sincerity." (In Italian with English subtitles) (PG)

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