Though it begins with an elaborate disclaimer regarding its status as a work of fiction, Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro (aka Them) is manifestly a portrait of Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy, media tycoon, populist, authoritarian, and playboy. Befitting its subject, the film is showy and often crude, filled with extended party scenes evoking the debauchery that surrounded Berlusconi. The atmosphere will be familiar to viewers of Sorrentino’s earlier film The Great Beauty (2013), which also centred on an ageing lech. Like that film, Loro stars Sorrentino’s regular collaborator Toni Servillo in the primary role, rendered unrecognisable here by Berlusconi’s trademark cosmetics.
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