‘Don’t Tell’


A paradigmatically mediocre foreign-film-Oscar nominee, Christina Comencini’s angsty Italian chick flick trails after TV dubbing actress Sabina (sad-eyed Giovanna Mezzogiorno) on the cusp of some kind of breakdown—you know how it is, your life becomes cluttered with obvious symbols, everyone says you’re too reserved or compliant, you dream of your dead father’s open pajama fly. Abetted by expressionistic childhood flashbacks Roger Corman would’ve been satisfied with, the story fragments into recovered abuse memory melodrama on one hand, and enjoyably persuasive sex-love on the other, including a liaison between Sabina’s gay, blind childhood friend (Stefania Rocca) and a distraught middle-aged divorcée (Angela Finocchiaro). As is typical of contemporary Italian movies, every one of Comencini’s women seems on the verge of a hysterical collapse. (The men just don’t understand, and the original title translates to The Beast in the Heart.) The movie shrugs over its scenes as if it has the livelong day to reach its predictable point, but Mezzogiorno grabs her many emotional crises with the conviction of a pit bull in lockjaw.