Saw this yesterday at the cinema. I've got to say I wasn't expecting much following the critics reviews (2stars), but I was pleasantly surprised. It follows the life of Guido, a middle-aged stereotypical Italian Director who has an overactive imagination and chronic insomnia whilst he is under a lot of pressure to film his latest movie.
Guido (Daniel Day Lewis) has many women in his life - his leading ladies (Claudia - Nicole Kidman, Stephanie - Kate Hudson), his leading lady mistress (Carla - Penelope Cruz), his wife (Luisa - Marion Cotillard), his confidant (Lilli - Judy Dench) as well as searching for advice from his deceased mamma (Sophia Loren).
With filmmaking success in his earlier years, but his last two films being flops, Guido is under tremendous pressure to make his latest film a hit. He has his producer in place, his cast, his crew, his wardrobe dept etc, but NO SCRIPT! Understandably he is in a desperate situation as he tries to put together a movie in his mind - turning reality into fantasy, and memories into a musical - cue the fantastic musical soundtrack this film has which is bound to sell thousands of copies.
The acting by Daniel Day Lewis as Guido and Penelope Cruz as Carla are superb. You forget completely that the role of Guido is not being played by an Italian, but by the British actor Daniel Day Lewis who has the Italian attitude and swagger down to a T. Penelope Cruz plays the ideal mistress - but I guess she's got a lot of practice... Only joking! Her acting is spot on and her dance moves and costumes fabulous.
There is a lot of 'European' humour in this, which the British audience might 'get' but the American audience less likely, so it probably won't do as well over there as it will in Europe. If you've ever watched Italian films or Italian style films you will know what I mean.