Friday, April 16, 2021

Beate Review: A Film That Humorously Stitches Together Nuns And Lingerie

Donatella Finocchiaro	...	Armida Felicitè Mbezelè	Felicitè Mbezelè	...	Suor Prediletta Paolo Pierobon	Paolo Pierobon	...	Loris Maria Roveran	Maria Roveran	...	Suor Caterina Lucia Sardo	Lucia Sardo	...	Suor Restituta

Release date: April 16, 2021
Running time: 90 minutes
Directed by: Samad Zarmandili
Written by: Antonio Cecchi, Gianni Gatti, Salvatore Maira
Cast: Donatella Finocchiaro, Paolo Pierobon, Maria Roveran, Lucia Sardo, Betti Pedrazzi

Partially inspired by several true stories, the comedy BEATE is a modern social fairytale set in Northeast Italy. When the employees of the Veronica lingerie factory discover they’re about to be fired, they take matters into their own hands and “borrow” equipment to produce their own garment line. Lead by plucky forewoman, Armida (Donatella Finocchiaro), they’re determined to overcome the odds and make their business a success despite their lack of resources.  Together with a nearby convent of nuns, they join forces for a surprising collaboration: an artisanal line of sexy embroidered lingerie. However, they soon come under attack from all sides and have to band together, and pray for a miracle!

Produced by  Dario Formisano	...	producerMusic by  Francesco De Luca	 Alessandro Forti	Cinematography by  Cristiano Natalucci	Film Editing by  Fabio Nunziata	Casting By  Marita D'Elia	Makeup Department  Rudia Cascione	...	key makeup artist Lucia Patullo	...	makeup artist Vittorio Sodano	...	special makeup effects artistSecond Unit Director or Assistant Director  Tiziana Forletta	...	second assistant director Federico Giorgio Ridolfi	...	first assistant director
Beate has a whimsical style that lets you know that this quirky lingerie / nun comedy is a light hearted endeavor.  The film has a soundtrack that sounds classic, evoking older comedic films, and whimsical, fitting the tone of Beate.  And the interactions between the lingerie makers and the nuns are fun to see.  The film touches on changing times and trying to keep tradition in an increasingly secular world, and seeing these clashes of ideas forms a lot of the fun in this movie.  And reliance on others forms a central focus of this movie as both the workers and the nuns need and learn from each other.  

And Beate is filled with quirky characters to tell this unique story.  They are well acted and fun to see on screen, especially Armida (Finocchiaro).  And although the nuns are generally more reserved, Lucia Sardo was fun to watch as an outspoken aunt to Armida.  These two form the basis of the culture clash, and seeing these strong women collide provided plenty of drama and humor.  And the film should be lauded for telling an empowering female story with an almost all female cast.  It was fun to see these ladies take matters into their own hands and sell a sexy product, but one that they designed and promoted themselves.  And although the cast was almost all female, Pierobon as Loris (one of the few males in the film) was a lot of fun to see.  He acted as their sales manager and was the right balance of sleazy but genuine.  I really liked seeing how he treated Armida and their relationship throughout the film.  

However, although Beate has a great style and comedic overtones, the comedy just did not hit for me.  Maybe some of it is lost in translation (and generally, comedy is tougher to watch in another language since you don't always get the tone and timing of things) but I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I did.  Perhaps for native speakers or those with more exposure to Italian, these will make more sense.  And the film also seems to introduce some unnecessary drama in the middle of it, which just seemed to come out of nowhere.  It caused a central conflict in the film and just felt a little rushed and out of left field.  Now this drama does come full circle in the end but it definitely caused me to scratch my head when it happened.  And along those lines, the film also has a strange scene towards the end that was supposed to be helpful / funny but just felt off with the rest of the movie's tone.  And it also didn't accomplish much for the storyline.  But those minor issues aside, this film is definitely a unique one with its mostly female cast and strange, empowering story.

Beate weaves a unique story with its lighthearted tone, mostly female cast, and funny, empowering story of nuns and lingerie!

Rent it.

Corinth Films Italian Italy Beate Lingerie Bras Panties Nuns Catholic Priest Nun
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Beate is playing in virtual cinemas across the country.  For more information and for showtimes click here.

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