The Hand of God (Italian: È stata la mano di Dio, i.e. It was the hand of God), by director Paolo Sorrentino, has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best International Film category. The film recounts the legend of Maradona through the complex events of a Neapolitan family.
Oscar nomination for Paolo Sorrentino's film
The movie The hand of God was received with great enthusiasm by critics, while this recognition comes for Paolo Sorrentino after the success of “The great beauty” ("La grande bellezza"), which already earned him an Oscar in 2014. In competition with Sorrentino's work there are four other films: "Madres Paralelas" by Pedro Almodovar, "Drive My Car", by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Teruhisa Yamamoto, "Petite Maman", by Celine Sciamma and Benedicite Couvreur, "The Worst Person in the World" ("La peor persona del mundo"), by Joachim Trier and Thomas Robsahm. The Neapolitan director will therefore be present at the night of the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27 this year. On hearing the news, Sorrentino said he was delighted because he believes all the themes that the film communicates and in which he strongly believes, are rewarded in this way: "irony, freedom, tolerance, pain, light-heartedness, willpower, the future, Naples and my mother". Of course, his thanks also go to the film crew and his entire family.
The plot of the film It was the hand of God
The hand of God tells the life and misadventures of a Neapolitan family, the Schisa. We are in the Eighties, and the protagonist Fabietto lives his adolescence without too many thoughts, together with his brothers Daniela and Marchino. The serenity and the climate of great affection, however, are only a facade, because everyone has relational and personal problems. The first drama is that the protagonist's aunt, Patrizia, is beaten by her husband, while his brother Marchino sees his chances of becoming an actor disappear after failing an important audition. Not even Fabietto's parents are exempt from their dose of pain: his father cheats on his wife and is kicked out of the house. The event that succeeds in distracting this family from all the dramas of everyday life is the acquisition by Naples Football Club of Diego Armando Maradona: a historical event to which the Neapolitans are still very attached, a news that can brighten the souls and make everyone happy. Spoiler alert: shortly after, Fabietto's parents make up and go to a vacation villa in Roccaraso. The protagonist, who was supposed to join them, refuses in order to attend a Maradona match. This decision will save his life, because his parents will find death in the vacation house, poisoned by carbon monoxide. Here is the meaning of the title: it was the hand of God that saved Fabietto. The boy will then have to come to terms with this terrible pain and understand what his future will be. This terrible story traces the truth: Paolo Sorrentino's parents also perished because of a tragic domestic accident.
The film locations
For those interested, here you can find an in-depth look at the locations of the movie, shot almost entirely in Naples and its province. The Gulf of Naples, Piazza Plebiscito, the San Paolo Stadium (today named right Diego Armando Maradona, after the soccer’s death), are just some of the locations used in The Hand of God, also taking its viewers to the marvelous atmospheres of the Amalfi and Sorrento coasts and the discovery of Capri.
Paolo Sorrentino, Neapolitan, born in 1970, is considered one of the best and most important directors of his generation. He also made his debut in the literary field, with the novel Everybody’s right (Hanno tutti ragione), with which he won third place at the Strega Prize. What made him famous was the movie The great beauty (La grande bellezza), but in his career he has never ceased to gain acclaim with practically all his films. He has also made a one entirely in English, This Must Be the Place, starring the American actor Sean Penn.