OSCAR SHORT TUTU – Mental health is a delicate thing

A film review by Sonya McCloud

Lorenzo Tiberia’s TUTU exposes mental health and body image in an eerie yet graceful way. The fragility of mental health and the resulting downward spiral is a heart-breaking tragedy that is played out in homes and workplaces…just about everywhere really!

Sofia D’Elia’s performance as Ester, who has withdrawn and become lost in her own world, is very impressive. D’Elia’s acting is one of the best aspects of the film as she delivers an impressively strong performance as a young girl who is dealing with serious issues.

The ballet routine at the dance school with the accompanying music by Remo Anzovino is particularly dramatic. It encompasses the whole essence of the film in which two worlds meet and coexist with each other.

Cinematography by Dario Di Mella complements the film incredibly well. The film is shot with scenes close up and in vivid colour, bringing a beautiful contrast to the struggles that Ester is experiencing and the terrible depths of her mental state.

The film is emotionally charged throughout, and it pulls heavily on one’s heart strings; the experience is memorable and may well cause viewers to take a step back and assess their own world.

Another great part is a beautiful dance montage that is superbly edited by Gianluca Scarpa and contains wonderful classical music. Regarding the mise-en-scene, praise goes to the dance costumes and to the interior of the dance school.

Composer, Remo Anzovino makes a significant contribution with the dramatic score that includes lovely piano melodies. Director of photography, Dario Di Mella does a terrific job with the cinematography. Di Mella perfectly balances the light and dark of the story; both physically (through lighting and colour) and metaphorically.

This is a moving story about a young individual who becomes astray; losing herself in her grief and desire for perfection. It contains a great deal of drama and will provide a memorable experience to the viewer due to the story and D’Elia’s performance.

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