Set in Rome, gorgeous Lorenzo (Luca Argentero) is the partner of successful author Davide (Pierfrancesco Favino ). They form part of an intimate circle of friends along with married couple Antonio (Stefano Accorsi) and Angelica (Margherita Buy) who Davide previously had feelings for; astrology loving Roberta (Ambra Angiolini) works for Lorenzo; Davide’s sarcastic ex Sergio (Ennio Fantastichini), professional translator Neval (Serra Yilmaz) and her policeman husband (Filippo Timi); and newcomer Paolo (Michelangelo Tommaso) who fancies Davide. In Saturn in Opposition (Saturno contro) the circle of friends meet up regularly to drink and talk and worry about each other, confiding secrets, lending money, bringing cakes and champagne to each other’s houses.
When Lorenzo is rushed to hospital suffering a cerebral haemorrhage the film becomes an examination of how a tight-knit group copes in crisis. With the perfect relationship between Lorenzo and Davide forcibly interrupted by illness, Davide on top of his own grief must deal with Lorenzo’s estranged father (Luigi Diberti), who belatedly attempts to come to terms with his son’s homosexuality, questioning whether he really knew him at all. In sharp contrast, Antonio and Angelica’s marriage is thrown into turmoil, as Antonio’s adultery, with a young florist (Isabella Ferrari), threatens to destroy their relationship.
When Davide attempts suicide the group converges at his seaside retreat, each trying to come to terms with their grief, and rebuild their relationship with each other. Despite upheaval, the group dynamic never changes and the characters lives continue firmly grounded in everyday reality.
“A sensitive exploration of the theme of friendship in the face of death, Ferzan Özpetek’s ensemble piece Saturn in Opposition marks a return to form for the Italo-Turkish director after the bizarre sidestep of his quasi-religious parable, ‘Sacred Heart’.”
— Deborah Young, Variety
“A thoughtful and diverting film and, like its cast, untiringly stylish.”
— Paul Griffiths, Eye For Film
“A most beautifully-directed ensemble drama that traces the effect of the illness of one of their number on a group of closely-supportive Roman late-thirtysomething, bourgeois friends.”
— TimeOut Chicago
Did You Know?
The soundtrack for Saturn in Opposition (Saturno contro) by Neffa takes a positively kinky approach to the drama, with a heavy emphasis on lively Spanish and French-sounding tunes. Review our Gay Themed Films Here