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I Feel Lucky

By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised 9th May 2014 Revised 17th May 2014 Revised 2nd January 2015
REVIEW: "FADING GIGOLO" by Jayne Waterford

Okay so, our men are short of cash flow. Murray has to sell the bookshop his grandfather started and his father owned. But this isn't what you want to hear. This is me reminiscing. Fioravante (John Turturro) messes around with some virile, red, fecund plants on a wooden bench in a shop of wooden fixtures with a surprised expression on his face. He's soon seated and looking dreamy. It's all very in wonderfully warm colours. Is John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013) working out of a man persuaded to have sex with rich and glamorous women dream fulfilment? And it doesn't stop there.

He elicits love from a widow (Vanessa Paradis) living under the most strict orthodox rules available in Brooklyn, New York. He makes her cry from loneliness. He realises, at a physical level, while pleasuring Sofia Vergara while Sharon Stone lies next to them watching on, two women with his best interests at heart, that he is in love.

You know, I haven't seen the whole body of Woody Allen's work consciously but how many times did the leading lady fall in love with him? How many films with Allen at their core have had their origins in pleasant dreams and wishes? This is a dream that could only flower in a protected community.

Murray (Woody Allen) whom has since become Bongo is called to account by an Orthodox assembly, gossiping according to procedure. It is the Orthodox SHOM RIM personified by, Dovi (Liev Schreiber) the Wiliamstown Division of the neighbourhood patrol, a man in love with Avigal, who picks Murray up to be questioned by many Rabbis. This isn't a shake down by the local brothel owners straightening the idiot out who is doing it on his own. This is a council of Orthodox men in fur hats who are offended at the possibility of violation of rules conducted by one of their own, one of their own encouraged by one who has strayed far from the tribe. And Murray and Fioravante? This is a pair of guys supplying a service to professional women who are needy. Everyone is romantically involved and fantacising about their encounters. Everyone is engaging on a human level.

All the while Murray dithers excitedly, confirming prices and counting and spending cash on his Orthela. They are guys who are intrinsically a part of the neighbourhood. They play softball in the park with the kids of the chosen people and their own families. But one gets the impression Murray isn't that cool about his own circumstances. He's excited by the surprise of it.

Sharon Stone's Dr. Parker is a stand out as the neurotic wife of a rich man. She plays it up as the first

timer with Fiorvante. She holds hands with her reflection. She is married. She is drawn with nerves. She is Dr. Parker. She's gaudy in reds. She is needy. Sofia Vergara plays well-adjusted loveliness, Dr. Parker's best friend Selima.

Vanessa Paradis as Avigal, the woman from whom life is a very serious undertaking. Avigal enjoys the lion's share of screen time from among the goddesses in this year's harvest and through her pain we can fantasise that we are seeing something of the process of being left by Johny Depp. The twist in the tale is when Avigal says to Dovi, "Just be quiet. I never said I didn't love you." This is a mess of mature people making mature decisions amongst people who are all impulse, or at least would like to be.

Allen's Murray talks at cross purposes, hearing what he wants to hear and later remarking how advantageous not hearing everything that someone says can be. "The size of a sesame seed." "...hisiadic." He took the famous Allen banter and secured it in broke, store-has-been-closed Brooklyn.

The two sets of relationships forged by Fiorvante run charmingly in tandem. John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013) was a sweet something. 8/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

John Turturro's
Writer & Director John Turturro
Producers Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, Bill Block, Paul Hanson
Stars John Turturro (Fioravante), Woody Allen (Murray/Dan Bongo), Vanessa Paradis (Avigal), Liev Schreiber (Dovi), Sharon Stone (Dr. Parker) and Sofia Vergara (Selima)
Release Date 1st May 2014
Category Comedy Drama
Running Time 90 minutes (1 hour, 30 minutes)
Rating M
Origin New York
Awards Official Selection | Toronto International Film Festival 2013
Coda No
Distributor Transmission Films
Official Blurb "Fioravante (John Turturro), at his friend Murray’s (Woody Allen) suggestion, enters into the world’s oldest profession, and ends up finding something he didn’t know he was looking for.
The seed of this scheme is planted when Murray’s beautiful dermatologist Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone) mentions she’s looking for a man to participate in a ménage à trois with her and her equally gorgeous friend Selima (Sofia Vergara). Contending with the recent closure of his bookshop, Murray recognizes the financial potential of this proposal and sets about convincing Fioravante to consummate the deal. While Fioravante is at first hesitant at the prospect of being Murray’s “ho,” he also needs the cash and comes to realize that there are worse ways to make a living than making two attention starved women happy. A partnership is born and Fioravante is soon on his way to Dr. Parker’s bedroom for a pre-ménage tryout.

Meanwhile Murray has come across an unusual second client for Fioravante: Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), the widow of a revered Chasidic Rabbi, whom she married when she was very young. Twenty years later, Avigal now finds herself with six children, memories of a life lived only within the cloistered world of the Chasidic community, and a desperate yearning to experience something new. When Murray proposes that she visit Fioravante, she grasps this opportunity, curious as to where it might lead her. Fioravante’s tender touch on her back awakens something inside her Avigal has never felt before, as well as stirring up an unexpected reaction in Fioravante." - Transmission Films PR

John Turturro (Fioravante) and Woody Allen (Murray) star in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).
Vanessa Paradis (Avigal) stars in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).
John Turturro (Fioravante) stars in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).
Sharon Stone (Dr. Parker) stars in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).
Sharon Stone (Dr. Parker) and Sofia Vergara (Selima) star in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).
Sofia Vergara (Selima) and John Turturro (Fioravante) star in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).
Sofia Vergara (Selima) and John Turturro (Fioravante) say hello in John Turturro's "FADING GIGOLO" (2013).