The Invisible Thread

The Invisible Thread ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Marco Simon Puccioni. Cast: Filippo TimiFrancesco SciannaFrancesco Gheghi Jodhi May

Hidden away somewhere inside the never-ending well that is the Netflix catalogue, is the first feature-length “dramedy” by Italian documentary-maker Marco Simon Puccioni, a semi-autobiographical coming of age that explores that “invisible thread” from the title (il Filo Invisibile in Italian) that binds us together, whether genetically connected or not.

The story centres around Leone, a teenage son of two fathers, played by Francesco Gheghi, an Italian version of Timothèe Chamalet, the only type of young actor independent film-makers seem to go for these days.

Leone making a documentary for a school project about what he calls “My Colorful Family”. It is through this device that, earlier on in the film, we learn how an American woman helped his two dads to bring him into the world.

We also have a peek into the apparent idyllic daily life of this family, seen as an example of unity, openness and complicity, despite the many legal and social struggles gay families have to go through in Italy, a country still steep in prejudice, confusion, misunderstandings and rhetoric when it comes to any LGBTQ+ issues.

It is a rather messy film which can never quite get its tone right, sometimes broad comedy, other times insightful and even rather touching. As I was watching I was constantly pulled in all sorts of directions, often laughing at some of the film’s over-the-top (and very Italian) portrayal of family dynamics, rolling my eyes at some really cheesy lines in the scripts and stumbling through gaping holes in some of the characters’ motivations (Leone’s girlfriend, for example, is probably being the worst offender). But I was also occasionally pleasantly surprised by some very smart choices, genuinely funny moments and acute observations about society today and people’s feelings in general.

It is clear that the material is very close to the director’s heart and despite the overall messiness, the many subplots and some slightly heavy-handed sentimentality (and over-acting by some of the players), I have to confess that by the end I was actually won over and even moved by its warmth and well-intentioned honesty.

This sort of melodrama probably plays better to an Italian like me, but the feelings the film talks about are pretty universal and will certainly make it likeable to anyone else too.

On Netflix

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