Review: LORO Is A Meandering But Stylish Crime Dramedy


Though it likely would have been better seen in two parts, Loro is a stylish and interesting character study driven by great visuals and excellent performances.
Technical Merit

Loro, the newest film from Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), is a sprawling true-crime dramedy, but of course with Sorrentino’s stylish approach. Even though this may be Sorrentino’s weakest effort yet, a lesser Sorrentino movie is still far more interesting and well-made than a majority of films that come out in a given year.

The movie tells a fictionalized version of the story of Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian media mogul and politician. Released in two parts internationally, this is a combined version made to qualify for rewards and be more palatable for American audiences who are not as familiar with the subtleties of Italian politics. Although the international cuts are unavailable stateside, it would be interesting to see the extra hour of footage that was cut, as it ultimately feels like something is missing.

Like many other similar political dramedies like The Wolf of Wall Street, Loro is a cautionary tale about the corrupting effect that power and greed can have on an individual. The film would have benefitted from some more specificity regarding this matter, but the statements Sorrentino makes about upper-class society in general are still very interesting. Yet one can’t help but feel that his previous work has handled similar themes in a more effective way.

One of the movie’s more prominent issues is that the character development is slightly off-putting. Although Sorrentino does (as he always has) an excellent job of establishing these characters in a moral grey area, there is a weird protagonist switch midway through the film that does not work as it should. For the first half of the movie, the protagonist is a businessman who wants to enter Berlusconi’s circle of influence, and then the second half switches to Berlusconi as the protagonist. Unfortunately, the businessman’s story is written in a more compelling way.

loro scamarcio
Riccardo Scamarcio as “Sergio Morra” in Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro. Photo by Gianni Fiorito. Courtesy of IFC Films. A Sundance Selects Release.

That said, Toni Servillo’s performance as Berlusconi is excellent, and he has many moments in which he is truly able to shine. His performance certainly falls into the big impression style, but it works given the comedic edge that the film has. The other lead of the movie, Riccardo Scamarcio, is also very good and is an excellent driving factor in the first half.

Sorrentino’s highly stylized fashion is also very much present here. The cinematography by Luca Bigazzi (a frequent collaborator of his) is absolutely grand and is filled with plenty of beautiful shots, both in terms of composition and content. Sorrentino’s use of music, particularly the score by Lele Marchitelli, is also as great as usual.

However, it is important to note that Sorrentino’s camera lingers on the female body more so than usual in this film. On one hand, this does make sense due to the promiscuous lifestyle that the characters lead, but it is also somewhat distracting. There are simply too many shots of scantily clad or nude women dancing, and those could have been cut in favor of more story-driven footage.

The length of Loro may mean that it won’t be able to appeal beyond those who are already fans of Sorrentino’s style and work, but it is a compelling and beautifully-shot political comedy from one of the finest working filmmakers today. Until people in the States get to see the longer cut of this story, this is satisfying and worth watching.

Loro opens in theaters on September 20 and hits VOD on September 27.


Celeste Barber: Challenge Accepted | Official Teaser | SHOWTIME Comedy

Actor, Comedian, and Social Media Super Star, Celeste Barber explains the story behind some of her most famous images, her new relationship with famous people, the trolls, fans and comments that get under her skin. Premieres Friday, November 1 at 9/8c. #SHOWTIMEComedy Subscribe to the SHOWTIME channel for more clips: Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now:…

All American | Season 2 Episode 2 | Speak Ya Clout Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of All American Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills -…

Batwoman | Critics | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Batwoman Mondays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own demons before embracing the call…

Behind-The-Scenes with The CW | The CW

Stream new episodes of your favorite shows free only on The CW App! SUBSCRIBE: About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect…

‘Jennings Is The Wild Wild West’ Ep. 4 Clip | Murder in the Bayou | SHOWTIME Documentary Series

Jennings is situated right off Interstate 10 between Houston and New Orleans, placing it on the path of a major drug route. Investigative reporter Ethan Brown discovers that several of the murder victims were known to be police informants as well as drug users, which put them in a precarious place. Streaming now on SHOWTIME.…

Nancy Drew | Sinking Feeling | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Nancy Drew Thursdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death derails Nancy’s college plans. Connect…

American Horror Story: 1984 | Season 9 Ep. 4: True Killers Recap | FX

Ready for tonight’s all-new episode? Relive the horror from the 4th episode of AHS: 1984 to prepare. Subscribe now for more American Horror Story clips: In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the…

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Netflix | Holidays 2019 | Netflix

Netflix is your home for the holidays. Whether you want a joyous family comedy, a magically festive romance or a delicious sugar fix, we have just what you need to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. Featuring new films & series, including: Holiday In The Wild (11/1), Let It Snow (11/8), Klaus (11/15),…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here