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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature, personal relationship drama won't be for everyone.

Movie NR 2020 115 minutes
Tommaso Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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Is It Any Good?

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An intensely personal drama drawn from the lives of its director and star, this searching, organic, somewhat rambling film may appeal mainly to their fans, but it's a strong effort nonetheless. Tommaso was written and directed by legendary maverick Abel Ferrara, who's been making tough, edgy genre movies since 1979. The star is four-time Oscar nominee Dafoe; this is his fifth feature with Ferrara. Ferrara, meanwhile, cast his own wife and daughter in the film, and the setup seems similar to Ferrara's own life. The character is even trying to find funding for his next movie.

Meanwhile, the acting class and a sequence of Tommaso doing yoga are borrowed from Dafoe's experiences. These things alone don't quite make a movie, but it shows how brave Tommaso really is. Even if it's not a very dynamic movie -- there's no fun, movie-insider material -- it builds a light simmer of suspense with its everyday struggles. Tommaso works hard to control his addictions, resisting his wicked past and reaching toward a clean, good, hopeful future. At the same time, the struggle between a married couple trying to keep their relationship alive after the birth of a child is also vivid and potent. Ferrara can't resist a few signature moments of exploitation and shock, but that only makes the movie even more personal.

Movie Details

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