The Goddess of Fortune

Movie review by
Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media
The Goddess of Fortune Movie Poster Image
Moving Italian drama has positive messages, strong language.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 114 minutes

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Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The power of love in all its forms -- family, friendships, romance -- is a strong theme throughout, as is what it means to have good friends and a supportive community around you. The importance of commitment and perseverance to make a relationship work. The value of accepting one another's flaws and quirks. How love and happiness can prevail after trauma and tragedy.

Positive Role Models

Despite their personal disagreements, Alessandro and Arturo show care and compassion toward their friend's two children. 12-year-old Martina is brave, strong, and passionate. All the friends support and care for each other, stepping up when they're needed. A strong cast of characters embraces diversity with positive representations of the LGBTQ+ community.

Violence

A distressed child trapped in a cupboard is heard screaming for help. Two young siblings fight, shouting at and pushing each other, before one throws a glass of water over the other. Character loses their temper and stands over another with their fist clenched and raised. Paintings depict skulls and children's bodies. References to dementia and parents growing old and dying.

Sex

Kissing. Several conversations -- some heated -- about sex and fidelity, including references to threesomes and foursomes. A couple appear at a party looking disheveled implying that they have just had sex. Character is seen looking at a dating app on their phone with various sexual preferences described on the screen. Someone collapses at their lover's house -- the implication is that they had been having sex. Two characters go swimming in their underwear.

Language

Frequent use of "f--king," "f--k," and "f--ked," in context and as an exclamation. Also "God," "bulls--t," "ass," "idiot," "dummy," "jerked me around," "s--t," "Christ's sake," "a--holes," "whore," "bastard," and "bitch." Someone makes a middle finger gesture. Character refers to a Black character as a "Negro." Character calls gay characters "perverts" and "perverted f-gs."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several people are seen drinking various alcoholic drinks at a wedding party. Alcohol visible but not emphasized in a few scenes -- a bottle of sparkling wine at a picnic, wine on the dinner table. One scene in which a character is sitting in a bar surrounded by shot glasses. One character seen smoking a cigarette, then straight away lighting another.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Goddess of Fortune is a poignant Italian drama -- with English subtitles -- that embraces diversity and addresses the challenges of maintaining a long-term relationship. The cast of characters portray diverse positive role models, with a group of friends -- both gay and straight -- showing unconditional love and support for one another. Alessandro (Edoardo Leo) and Arturo (Stefano Accorsi), though struggling to keep their relationship alive, have an intimacy that is tender and compassionate. Strong language is frequent including use of "f--k," as well as some anti-gay name-calling, and a Black character being referred to as a "Negro." There are numerous references to sex and fidelity -- including mention of group sex -- but no graphic scenes or associated nudity. The story tackles dementia, illness, and the mortality of parents, with some emotional scenes that younger viewers might find distressing. There is no violence per se, but two siblings shout and push each other, and in one scene a child gets trapped in a cupboard and becomes distressed. But overall there is great warmth and gentle humor throughout.

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What's the story?

THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE finds Alessandro (Edoardo Leo) and Arturo (Stefano Accorsi) in a loving long-term relationship. But then their friend, Annamaria (Jasmine Trinca), asks them to take care of her two children while she goes to hospital for a few days. While figuring out how best to look after the children, the two men begin to uncover some unwelcome truths about their relationship. When Annamaria's hospital stay is extended, they decide the children should go to live with their estranged grandmother -- not realizing the impact this could have on all of their lives.

Is it any good?

Tugging on your heartstrings in the most agreeable way, this poignant Italian drama addresses universal themes of love and relationships with a tenderness and intuition that make it fully relatable. The bond between Alessandro and Arturo is genuine, as they tackle the breakdown of their relationship amid the intensity of supporting a friend in need. And despite the tension and anguish, there is warmth, humor, and levity throughout. Meanwhile the ensemble cast is a joyous group of friends that show each other such unconditional affection and support you end up wishing you could be in their gang.

Add to that a series of charming locations across Rome and Sicily, a faultless soundtrack, and a multi-layered plot with some unexpected turns, and you find yourself being taken on an emotional journey -- albeit one that will appeal mostly to adult viewers -- that feels both insightful and authentic. There is high drama as the story reaches its crescendo, but beyond the trauma and tragedy, there is a beautiful ending that exudes love, hope, and optimism for new beginnings.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the LGBTQ+ representation in The Goddess of Fortune. Did it feel like a positive portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community? Was it refreshing to see a movie with so many diverse characters? Why don't you think we see more movies like this? How does it compare to other movies with LGBTQ+ characters?

  • Discuss the strong language used. Did it seem excessive? What did it add to the story?

  • Which of the characters in the movie do you feel are positive role models and why? Which of them demonstrated strengths such as compassion, humility, and empathy?

  • Did you find the subtitles distracting? Would you be interested in watching other foreign movies?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love foreign films

Character Strengths

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