Oscar bait 'Gomorra' baits the mob
Writing about the Mafia -- not Nicholas Pileggi glammed-up style but hard-core Old World stuff -- can be seriously hazardous to one's health. Just ask Roberto Saviano, the 29-year-old best-selling author of "Gomorra," which spawned a feature film that's Italy's official Oscar submission for February's Academy Awards.
Saviano, who's been in hiding for two years since his expose sold 1.2 million copies, now has a new threat hanging over his head -- that Naples-based organized crime groups want him (and his 24/7 bodyguards) dead by Christmas. Read the Reuters report here.
"Gomorra," the Matteo Garrone-directed semi-fictional drama with five storylines weaving into the modern-day Camorra crime families, won the Grand Prize at Cannes. Read a Q&A with Garrone here. The movie's also snagged near-universal huzzahs from critics, including the New York Times' A.O. Scott, who called it "the best movie I've seen at this year's festival, as well as a furious and brilliant engagement with the times in which we live." Salon called it "a multileveled social melodrama and an Antonioni-style nihilistic contemplation."
Apparently, it's the anti-"Sopranos."
Makes us even more anxious for the screening that's coming early next week, and for the safety of the muckraking Saviano as the movie edges toward release. Check back for our post-screening impressions.