Review: Tomorrow's a New Day
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Simone Spada's remake of the Spanish-Argentine success Truman retains the strength and modesty of the original film, with a hint of irony
Two friends, a dog and four days to say goodbye. Simone Spada’s second film, Tomorrow's a New Day [+see also:
film profile] – an Italian remake of the 2015 Spanish-Argentinian success Truman [+see also:
interview: Cesc Gay
film profile] by Cesc Gay, which was awarded five Goya awards – may talk an awful lot about death, but it’s really a tribute to life. The director, who was first noticed with his film Hotel Gagarin [+see also:
film profile] (with which he will soon be competing for a David di Donatello Award for Best First Feature on 27 March), has changed very little about the film. It’s the story of two old friends who are spending their last days together, because one of them is terminally ill and has decided to stop treatment. The film’s structure, most of its dialogue and even various shots are the same, but Spada infuses it with a good dose of what it means to be Italian, or rather from Rome, in a precise and effective way, thanks to its two protagonists (the very famous Marco Giallini and Valerio Mastandrea), a backdrop of Rome’s natural scenery – which often features the Colosseum – and a screenplay written by Giacomo Ciarrapico and Luca Vendruscolo (Boris [+see also:
film profile], Ogni maledetto Natale) that provides for a few additional moments of melancholy humour and typical Roman disenchantment.
And so, although one particular scene in Truman ends with a tear, albeit ironically, here, it becomes an opportunity for humour in order to loosen the tension. Terminally ill, Giuliano (Giallini) is tasked with choosing a coffin with his friend Tommaso (Mastandrea), and speculates about buying a "used, like new" one to save some money. The delicate balance between emotion and lightheartedness, as well as the contained emotions featured in the original film, are perfectly timed here, with the addition of a few small nuances and truths given to each character by the actors who play them – and who have been friends in real life for more than twenty years. The exuberant and histrionic Giuliano, and the more reserved and reflective Tommaso, seem to reflect the personalities of these two real-life friends, and the chemistry between them both is undeniable, as well as with Anna Ferzetti, who plays Giuliano's sister, Paola, a woman is unable to come to terms with her brother’s decision not to care anymore, let alone the fact that Tommaso, after a timid attempt to dissuade his friend, has ended up supporting him.
"It's not my fault, it's not your fault, and it's not even Giuliano's fault," Tommaso says to Paola, inevitably sealing their loved one's fate. A sense of helplessness that pervades the whole film. But a sense of serene acceptance is just around the corner, coming first to Giuliano, and then to those around him, his friends and his son, Leo (Andrea Arcangeli, seen in The Startup). Will his beloved dog Pato accept this loss? This is what Giuliano tries to understand during a four day trip marked by small budgets and new discoveries, in which he receives words of comfort from those he would least expect, and rejection from a few people he thought of as friends. He enjoys his last carefree moments, but also addresses the first terrible symptoms of his imminent end. A beautiful story of friendship, between two men and between a man and a dog. It is easy to recognise ourselves in this new Italian remake, which maintains all the strength and modesty of the original film.
Tomorrow’s a New Day was produced by Baires Produzioni in collaboration with Medusa Film, which is releasing 430 copies of the film in Italian cinemas today, 28 February. International distribution is being handled by Filmax.
(Translated from Italian)
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