It’s no surprise that filmmakers put a bit of themselves in the characters they showcase in their films. Sometimes, as is the case in films such as Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain & Glory,” the stories themselves are built from real-life experiences the directors lived through. But it’s unclear how much of “Tommaso” is based on the life of filmmaker Abel Ferrara, but judging by the casting, it could be more than we realize.
As seen in the new trailer for “Tommaso,” the drama tells the story of an American artist that is living in Italy with his wife and young daughter. The film goes through the struggles the man experiences living as an ex-pat and dealing with his past demons. Interestingly, though Ferrara doesn’t star as the lead character, the filmmaker’s real-life wife and child do star as the wife and child in the film, leading you to wonder how much of the film is autobiographical.
The film stars Willem Dafoe and is directed by Ferrara. The duo has collaborated on a number of films in the past including “New Rose Hotel,” “Go Go Tales,” “4:44 Last Day on Earth,” and “Pasolini.” And while “Tommaso” is their most recent film to land distribution, Dafoe and Ferrara already collaborated on a brand-new feature, titled “Siberia,” which debuted as this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
In our review from last year’s Cannes, we weren’t a huge fan of Ferrara’s latest. We said, “‘Tommaso’ might seem like a thrilling, fantastical portrait of an artist, but Abel Ferrara’s execution is far less impactful image than the above description would suggest. The director remains adrift in the wasteland of the imagination.”
You can judge the new film for yourself when it arrives on VOD next month. Kino Lorber is expected to release “Tommaso” in Virtual Cinemas on June 5.
Here’s the synopsis:
Willem Dafoe is an American artist living in Rome with his family, played by Abel Ferrara’s real-life wife and daughter. Their tumultuous relationship is set against his day to day life as a teacher, ex-pat, and recovering addict.