There’s Still Tomorrow – REVIEW

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There's Still Tomorrow - a wife plots against her violent husband

‘There’s still tomorrow’ is probably the worst thing you can say to anyone in a hospice but here it has a bitter irony for Delia (Paola Cortellesi) who wakes up  only to be slapped across the face by her brutish husband Ivano (Valerio Mastandrea). Maybe tomorrow will be better but it is blind optimism living in a basement flat with him, their three children and her ailing father in law whose equally appalling attitude to women appears to have been inherited by his son.

Delia’s existence is a miserable one. Set in post war Italy with the country still recovering and with rationing still in effect she cooks, cleans, tends to the bed ridden father in law and also goes out to do odd jobs handing over any money she earns to Ivano who takes every opportunity to denigrate his wife in front of family and friends. For Delia her hopes for a better life lie with her daughter Marcella who is being wooed by a young well mannered Giulio (Francesco Cetorame) and whose family have money. For father Ivano it is a match made in heaven, adamant that he doesn’t want to waste money on any education for his daughter. The prospective in laws have a different idea when they come to their flat for dinner where the young couple  will make their engagement official. It is one of many excellent scenes in the films with the snobbish mother-in-law to be looking down on the family and Delia who never sits at the table but instead ferries food from kitchen to table, filling up glasses and clearing away dishes and all the while there’s a simmering tension of impending domestic violence that might and almost inevitably will erupt.

It’s the ever ready threat of domestic violence that pervades Delia’s subjugated existence that Marcella is only too aware and desperate for her mother to leave him. To that end the glimpse of a better life is never far away with a town mechanic, a love that that got away and is reminded of it each day she walks past him There’s an American soldier too, who becomes aware that her home life is a violent one and tries to assist yet is resisted by Delia. It’s a self-sacrifice that ultimately she night never escape and the film pushes towards a conclusion that will be a turning point not just for her but Italian women too

Paola Cortellesi both stars and directs and had co-written ‘There’s Still Tomorrow’ and it is quite some achievement. Shot in black and white it has the neo realism of Italian films of that time and the performances are all on point with enough humour to lighten the heavier scenes. Her use of the camera for God’s eye point of view, tracking shots as Delia walks down the street and a remarkable scene of domestic violence choregraphed like a dance routine are all complimented by an eclectic use of music of the era and along with contemporary rap music from Outkast and as a feature film debut, There’s Still Tomorrow is outstanding.

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Actor – Director Paola Cortellesi chatted about the film at a special London screening….

Here’s the There’s Still Tomorrow trailer…..

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