Posted On May 10, 2016
High Stakes Poker In Christmas Rematch
Christmas rematch is 2004 sequel to Pupi Avati’s 1986 film, Christmas Present. Pupi Avati again directed and wrote the film. The film also stars the original cast. The film takes place eighteen years down the line, giving the viewer new insights into the characters and what has transpired in their lives since the iconic poker game of the original film.
This time around though, Pupi Avati does not approach the film with the youthful exuberance of the first film. Instead the film, like the characters, has a more mature approach to things. As the films moves to its climax, which mirrors the first film with a poker match on Christmas Eve, the characters are revealed to have become dishonest, dissatisfied and disillusioned. Not just with life, but each other. Christmas Rematch features memorable and powerful performances by Diego Abatantuono as the lead character Franco, Carlo Delle Piane as the “villain”, The Attorney, George Eastman as Stefano and a seductive Petra Khruz as the illicit love interest. The film is fast paced like the original, but the colloquial Italian phrases used in the film to accurate depict the life and language of the characters may come off as offensive to some viewers.
The film begins with a summary of the previous film and the poker match at the film’s climax. In the previous film, the lead character, Franco loses his cinema to The Attorney and his partner Ugo. 18 years later and Franco has not only clawed his way back from ruin, but has achieved notable success against all odds. While at a party, an oncologist tells Franco that his old friend Lele is dying of cancer. Franco takes this as a sign that he needs to arrange another poker match in order to exact his long dreamed of revenge against The Attorney.
Cinematography And Soundtrack
The film’s fast pacing, combined with its soft jazz soundtrack and the incredible interior and exterior scenes of Italy really makes for an unforgettable experience. Once the characters start unraveling in the end, you will be left elated and shell shocked in the same measure. There is also some comic relief from Gianni Cavina and Alessandro Haber to not let the film’s mood get too dark although Haber’s unique world view can be seen as gallows humor more than anything else as he quips from his hospital bed.
Christmas Rematch Release And Distribution
The film was released in January 2004 in Italy. It was distributed by Medusa films and has a running time of 90 minutes. The audio is in Italian, but the home release includes English and Spanish language options. Christmas Rematch was produced by Antonia Avati for DueA productions in association with Medusa films.
Christmas Rematch Award Nominations
Christmas rematch was recognized for two Italian film awards in 2004 and 2005. It was first nominated in 2004 for the David Di Donatello Award. It received two nominations. The first was for best director for Pupi Avati’s work on the film. The second nomination was for best musical score for Riz Ortolani. They unfortunately did not win. Christmas Rematch was also nominated for a Silver Ribbon award at the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists ceremony in 2005. The nomination was for best screenplay, to Pupi Avati.