It's Easier for a Camel...

"Weak"

It's Easier for a Camel... Review


To paraphrase Bogart, the problems of a bunch of rich people don't add up to a hill of beans in this crazy world - this is why your average filmmaker, in order to get an audience to care about disgustingly wealthy characters is to either make them so engaging that one can't help but get emotionally involved or to subject them to truly horrific circumstances that level the economic playing field. It's Easier for a Camel..., an autobiographical story by the actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi - who wrote, directed and stars in the film - about an Italian family of malcontents living in Paris off their patriarch's vast earnings, does neither of these things, resulting in a distant and distinctly minor piece of work.

Tedeschi plays Federica, a young Italian woman who's trying to make a go of things as a playwright but seems to spend most of her time mooning about in discontent, daydreaming, finding ways to sabotage her relationships, and compulsively going to confession, even though she has nothing to confess. As her working-class, leftist boyfriend Pierre (Jean-Hughes Anglade) reminds her, with the vast sums of money sitting in her bank account, her intermittent writing is actually less a job than a hobby. The film's title is a reference to the Biblical passage about it being easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven.

At first, Federica's melancholy seems to have a root, what with her father chronically ill in the hospital and a mother and siblings who could charitably be described as distant. But it's soon clear there is a fundamental void at her center, an utter lack of drive or imagination (even the occasional fantasy sequence which interrupts the film's languid pace seem slight and none-too-exotic). Federica makes the occasional motion towards doing something of worth, like giving her money to charity, but it mostly comes to naught, as she undergoes another panic attack, always digging in her massive purse which she hauls around like all her neuroses. And so it goes, with Federica treating the priest she confesses to more like an analyst, and self-destructively starting an affair with a married ex.

Although, for a first-time director, Tedeschi shows admirable restraint behind the camera (she's acted in dozens of films over the past two decades, so must have picked something up) her screenplay is in no hurry to get anywhere or provide any real insight, making it hard not to view the film as a self-indulgent waste of time. The always reliable Anglade adds some desperately-needed edge as one of the only people on screen with any sort of purpose, but his palpable frustration with these emotionally stunted bourgeoisie soon becomes the audience's, who will likely have as little patience for their self-obsessed, self-pitying antics as he does.

For all this, Tedeschi is an impressive actress, her wide-eyed, slightly-toothy face an engaging platform for registering Federica's chronic indecision, but her writing and directing need a great deal more molding before they can be deemed truly worthy of her acting talents.

The DVD adds deleted scenes.

Aka Il est plus facile pour un chameau...

But it's harder for a goat.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 16th April 2003

Distributed by: New Yorker Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Federica, as Bianca, as Pierre, Denis Podalydès as Philippe, Marysa Borini as la mère, as le père, as Aurelio, as le prêtre, Nicolas Briançon as le directeur, as l'homme dans le parc, as la femme de Philippe

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.