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Fading Gigolo - Film Review

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
I'm retired, busy with volunteer radio and (with my wife) going to the theatre and enjoying 'fine dining".
Published May 18th 2014
Woody Allen in the oldest profession
Fading Gigolo : Film Review
trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/fadinggigolo/


Is this a "Woody Allen" film? Yes, and no. Yes it is the kind of quirky, funny and bitter-sweet movie that Woody could have written, and yes he is in it. And no, Woody does not dominate, and while still enamoured of the zinging one-liner, he is more earthed and less self-absorbed than we have been used to seeing him.

trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/fadinggigolo


This may be one of Woody's best performances in many years, and is perhaps an argument for his sacking himself as director in films in which he appears.

trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/fadinggigolo


If we accept the somewhat counter-intuitive premise that Sharon Stone and Vanessa Paradis would ever need to pay for male attention, John Turturro's role, as the shy middle-aged man (Floravante) who loves women, and finds himself being paid to make them feel loved, provides plenty of room for glorious risque comedy.

However the heart of this film, in every sense, is revealed when Floravante finds a client who seeks caring and company rather than sex. Avigal (Vanessa Paradis) is the lonely widow of a much respected ultra orthodox Rabbi. She feels imprisoned by the expectations of her neighbourhood, and longs for human companionship. As Floravante and Avigal shyly bond, the chemistry is palpable, and speaks eloquently of human longings and belongings.

trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/fadinggigolo


All of this is played out against a closely observed New York neighbourhood that is delightfully realised.

And the ending is not what we expect, and is all the better for that.

This is a light, quirky film, that hints at depths and engages us throughout.
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Why? Best Woody Allen performance in years
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