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Lacci review – handsome divorce drama revels in domestic disaster

European cousin to Marriage Story, Daniele Luchetti’s oddly soothing film follows the grisly meltdown of a middle-class couple

Fasten your mask straps, it’s the Venice film festival, a socially distanced extravaganza for the year of Covid, where tubs of hand-sanitiser stand in for Hollywood stars and the starting pistol is played by a thermometer gun to the head. Tradition dictates that the winner of the Golden Lion award is announced live on stage, a week on Sunday. But the real verdict could be delivered rather sooner than that.

With the big American titles largely absent, the organisers have found a solution of sorts in Lacci, the first Italian film to open the festival in more than a decade. Daniele Luchetti’s handsome divorce drama stands as a European cousin to Marriage Story in its focus on the grisly meltdown of a middle-class couple and the emotional baggage that they then bequeath to their children. Philip Larkin would have approved of Lacci’s line of attack. Here is a film in which misery breeds misery until its legacy deepens like a coastal shelf.

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