3 Best Movies to Watch by Dora Romano

Staff & contributors

The Hand of God is the autobiographical movie from Paolo Sarrantino, the director of the 2013 masterpiece The Great Beauty. He recently also directed The Young Pope with Jude Law and Youth Paul Dano, both in English. He is back to his home Italy with this one. 

More precisely, he’s in his hometown Naples, in the 1980s, where awkward teenager Fabietto Schisa’s life is about to change: his city’s soccer team Napoli is buying the biggest footballer at the time, Diego Maradona.

Sarrantino, who is also from Naples, made this movie that is half a tribute to the city and half to what it meant growing up around the legend of Maradona.

The Hand of God is to Sarrantino what Roma was to Alfonso Cuarón, except it’s more vulgar, fun, and excessive. It is equally as personal though, and it goes from comedy to tragedy and back with unmatched ease.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Alessandro Bressanello, Alfonso Perugini, Betti Pedrazzi, Birte Berg, Ciro Capano, Cristiana Dell'Anna, Daniele Vicorito, Dora Romano, Enzo De Caro, Filippo Scotti, Lino Musella, Luisa Ranieri, Marina Viro, Marlon Joubert, Massimiliano Gallo, Monica Nappo, Renato Carpentieri, Sofya Gershevich, Teresa Saponangelo, Toni Servillo

Director: Paolo Sorrentino

This Netflix production is based on a case that rocked public opinion in Italy. Stefano Cucchi was arrested for a minor drug charge and died five days later from police brutality. The movie takes its time to expose what Cucchi went through, which might lead some viewers to find On My Skin slow, and rightfully so. Thinking about the issues at hand here, it’s easy to understand why the director made that choice. In fact, Italians’ complex relationship with the Carabinieri, a division of the Italian army that carries out domestic policing, is delicate to explain and requires meticulous unveiling. Nominated to nine David di Donatello Awards (the equivalent of the Academy Awards in Italy), of which it won three.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Aleksandros Memetaj, Alessandro Borghi, Alessio De Persio, Andrea Lattanzi, Andrea Mautone, Antonio Gargiulo, Aurora Casavecchia, Bernardo Casertano, Daniela Amato, Daniele Amendola, Dora Romano, Elisa Casavecchia, Elodie Treccani, Emanuele Cerman, Federico Tocci, Francesca Tomassoni, Gaetano Aronica, Giuseppe Ragone, Italo Amerighi, Jasmine Trinca, Marco Giuliani, Massimiliano Tortora, Mauro Conte, Max Tortora, Michele Botrugno, Milvia Marigliano, Orlando Cinque, Paolo D Bovani, Pietro Faiella, Roberta Sferzi, Roberto Galano, Rodolfo Bigotti, Stefano Miglio, Vincenzo Tanassi, Walter Nestola

Director: Alessio Cremonini

Rating: TV-MA

Admittedly, being released in theaters a month after Immaculate, The First Omen can almost be accused of being derivative, with similar protagonists, plots, and themes. However, unlike Immaculate, this film captures a bit of the 1970s horror style that was best seen in the original 1976 Omen film, with the paranoia, the investigations, the Eastman Kodak-inspired color grading, and the number of the devil now depicted in striking modern images and clearer digital definition. And, considering that the Roe decision was overturned two years ago, the idea of a forced virgin conception is a great way to reintroduce Gen Z to the horror franchise, as the prequel, and today’s women, now have to deal with religion and authority reducing women only into vessels. The First Omen is a timely adaptation that takes familiar horror tropes and executes them well.

Genre: Horror

Actor: Alessandra Fallucchi, Andrea Arcangeli, Anton Alexander, Bill Nighy, Charles Dance, Dobrila Stojnic, Dora Romano, Eva Ras, Ishtar Currie Wilson, James Swanton, María Caballero, Mario Opinato, Mia McGovern Zaini, Michelangelo Dalisi, Milena Božić, Miodrag Rakočević, Nell Tiger Free, Nicole Sorace, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Ralph Ineson, Sônia Braga, Sylvia Panacione, Tawfeek Barhom

Director: Arkasha Stevenson

Rating: R