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Loose Cannons

Loose Cannons (2010)

April. 28,2010
| Drama Comedy Romance

Tommaso is the youngest son of the Cantones, a large, traditional southern Italian family operating a pasta-making business since the 1960s. On a trip home from Rome, where he studies literature and lives with his boyfriend, Tommaso decides to tell his parents the truth about himself. But when he is finally ready to come out in front of the entire family, his older brother Antonio ruins his plans.


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A movie that not only functions as a solid scarefest but a razor-sharp satire.

Derrick Gibbons

An old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.


All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.


This was a great movie that may have tried to be a bit too complex for its own good.On the one hand, unlike so many movies that try to deal with the sexual-identity-and-family issues, this was not simply a black & white generational conflict between fairly one dimensional characters and it certainly does not eventually have a happily-ever-after resolution ... or any clear resolution at all. Of course, that might be considered part of its charm.All the characters, both central and peripheral, have surprising depth and can generate a certain amount of sympathy (or antipathy) and interest on the part of the viewer. Most everyone was believable, although there was some overacting, particularly on the part of the father.The problem was that there were a few too many characters dealing with a few too many problems and if you had to rely on following the English subtitles it was easy to get lost at times. I will definitely have to watch this at least once more to try to get a better understanding of the personalities who were not central to the main story line. That's not a problem since it was an enjoyable experience the first time and I expect that getting a better understanding of the subplots will make it all the more enjoyable. But I also expect that to some extent it may be too much of a good thing packed into too small a space. Some of the characters needed more time to develop and the ending of the film left a lot of issues unresolved and hanging ... I think.


This is another triumph by the brilliant Italian director of Turkish descent, Ferzan Ozpetek, whose SACRED HEART (2005, see my review) and FACING WINDOW (2003, see my review) were such spectacular cinematic masterpieces. In this complex ensemble film, much of which is comic and intensely satirical, human intolerance is examined with a microscope. The main focus is homophobia. The film is set in the Italian town of Lecce. The father in the film, who is the most extreme homophobe imaginable, has two unmarried sons in their late twenties or early thirties, both of whom he believes to be 'normal'. In fact, both are homosexual. One is just about to come out of the closet at a family dinner when his brother, who has been fore-warned of this, leaps up and comes out of the closet instead, thus diverting the father's inevitable wrath to himself and sparing his brother. So the one who confesses is expelled from the house (never darken my door again, you are not my son) and the family business (a huge pasta factory), while the other remains, conscience-stricken, not now daring to open his mouth about his own sexual inclinations. We are expected to believe that neither brother knew the other was gay. That works well for the story, though in real life I think it most unlikely! The film is a richly-textured tale with many characters, exploring the ironies, contradictions, insensitivities and over-sensitivities of our strange species with relentless humour, laughter, and despair. Once again, that compassionate and concerned observer of human tragedies and foibles, Ozpetek, pulls it off!


I saw this movie at the Chicago International Film Festival, along with 18 other movies, and it was, by far, the best movie in the festival. It was the only movie I attended that was applauded by the audience at the end of the film. I see that one of the film critics commented that the film was uneven because it couldn't make up its mind whether it was a comedy or a drama. It was both and worked on both levels, which is one of the reasons I loved it. it made me laugh and it made me cry. I think the best art is often like that. Gabriel Garcia Marquez' book "100 Years of Solitude" and Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" are examples of books that are very funny and very sad, sometimes for exactly the same reasons. I hope this film will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It deserves the recognition.


This is not a very good movie, but it's quite fun to watch. Loose Canons proves that commedia dell'Arte is alive and updated in its native country Italy. The types and the plots of this old comic drama form seems particularly suited to the Italian temperament, and the outbursts of passion, regret and rage among modern urban people very aware of their image and clothes fit this kind of entertainment very well. The patriarch of a pasta factory despairs when one of his sons and heirs reveals he is gay. The father has not a big problem with the gayness as such, but with the fact that the son wants to become "openly" gay. This is a comedy very much about not losing one's face. The movie is very fast paced in the beginning and the most important plot twist comes too early. The last third of the film is on the other hand lengthy and has too much of a message, though an unclear one. A high-light of the movie is a "lazzi" (a special feature of commedia dell'arte, a humorous interruption who has not much to do with the plot or the story telling) with four beautiful and "screaming queens" bathing in the sea.