8 1/2
25 October 2014

VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE

original title:

VANIGLIA E CIOCCOLATO

directed by:

screenplay:

cinematography:

costume design:

producer:

production:

supported by MiBACT, Eurolux Produzione

country:

Italy

year:

2004

film run:

110'

format:

colour

release date:

13/02/2004

Two rich flavors, vanilla and chocolate, are as different as they are delicious. Just as the tender married couple Penelope (“Pepe” to her friends), honest and responsible, and her incorrigibly unfaithful husband Andrea. Yet, when Pepe discovers one of Andrea’s countless betrayals again, this time her husband is in for a shock. Pepe leaves him with their three growing children, and takes refuge in a house by the sea where her grandmother once lived. Pepe’s retreat into solitude is the beginning of an intense journey, not only for her, but also for her husband. As the poetry of childhood memories mingles with her sadness and questioning as a woman, her husband Andrea is faced with the seemingly impossible practicalities of running a household. And he makes the tremendous discovery of what it means to be a true father. Much to her husband’s surprise, he also discovers the traces of a secret life his wife once lived during one of their crises and separations only the year before. As the mysterious figure of a beautiful painter and his wife’s lover emerges, Andrea is suddenly consumed by feelings of jealousy, remorse, but also the profound realization of his great love for his wife. Indeed, as Pepe once remarked, “In all my life, I have loved only two men: my husband and a dream”. And at dawn, as the promise of the impossible dream vanishes, Andrea and Pepe rediscover each other and the innocent trust of their original love. An enduring love built upon another kind of dream, made up of solidarity, mutual respect, tolerance and the acceptance of the other… with all the tantalizing differences, that is, of vanilla and chocolate!
From the book by Sveva Casati Modigliani.