Film review: I told you so by Ginevra Elkann

I told you so (in Italian “Te l’avevo detto”) offers a compelling exploration of dysfunctional family dynamics and societal judgements, supported by strong performances and a thought-provoking narrative. However, its failure to fully explore its thematic elements prevents it from reaching its full potential.

Catch  I told you so at the Cinema Made in Italy 2024 festival this week at Cine Lumiere in South Kensington.

te l'avevo detto - i told you so film poster

The story

The film, set in Rome during an abnormal heatwave in January, unfolds amidst the peculiarities of familial relationships and personal struggles. Gianna’s obsession with a porn star, Mia’s attempts to reign in her mother’s fixation, Caterina’s battle with alcoholism, and Father Bill’s struggle with drug addiction all intertwine in a narrative that explores weird families and society prejudice.











The trailer

The verdict

In her second directorial adventure, Ginevra Elkann intricately weaves a tapestry of complex characters and themes. The film showcases the depths of human psyche, portraying a world where guilt, obsession, weirdness and the quest for redemption dominate. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Valeria Golino (starring as Pupa who resembles famous 80s porn star and controversial political figure Cicciolina) deliver brilliant performances, embodying characters trapped in toxic rivalries and distorted maternal bonds.

Equally grotesque is the scenario surrounding all the characters, denouncing the consequences of global warming in a manner not dissimilar to “Siccità” and with a similar approach, based more on a vague premonition (“I told you so”) than on a precise focus on the problem.

Despite its engaging narrative and strong performances, I told you so falls short in fully capitalising on its thematic potential. The film’s commentary on societal issues such as global warming feels underdeveloped, lacking the depth and clarity needed to make a significant impact.

In Italy, London born Italian film-maker Ginevra Elkann’s film has achieved moderate success at the box office, grossing 119 thousand euros in the first five weeks of screening.

London Mums’ Rating: 6/10


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