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A wistful romance turned raucous sex comedy, The Seduction of Mimi is a searing take on sexual and political double standards that brought international fame to director Lina Wertmüller. Giancarlo Giannini (in his first film for Wertmüller, and soon to become her perennial icon of macho manhood), struts his stuff in a wonderfully over-the-top comic performance as the sad sack Mimi, a Sicilian laborer whose refusal to vote for the Mafia’s candidate leads him to lose his job, his wife and his home.
“Delectable … politics and sex are so well balanced that all the raw emotions and devastating jokes ring true.” — Nora Sayre, New York Times
At rock bottom, he revives his spirits by falling in love with the beautiful, radical Fiorella (Mariangela Melato), with whom he starts a new life as a reliable husband and father. But the past comes back to haunt him, piling on comical complexities as all his energies surge into defending his honor, an obsession that has horrendous but hilarious consequences. A blistering satire of Italy in the 1970s, The Seduction of Mimi takes aim at a corrupt government, compromised labor leaders and the Neanderthal sexual politics of men in power, with uproarious results, proving that in Wertmüller’s world, the bedroom is the most effective battleground for revenge – for men and women alike. (Dir. by Lina Wertmüller, 1972, Italy, In English and Italian with English subtitles, 112 mins., Not Rated)