Quiet Chaos (‘Caos Calmo’)

DRAMA; 1hr 52min (Italian with subtitles)

STARRING: Nanni Moretti, Blu Yoshimi

Good grief: Moretti and Yoshimi

In 2001’s The Son’s Room, director, co-writer and star Nanni Moretti explored the impact a teenage boy’s death has upon his family. Loss and grief are also the springboard for Quiet Chaos, co-adapted by Moretti from Sandro Veronesi’s 2005 novel Caos Calmo and directed with the grace of restraint by Antonello Grimaldi. This time, however, it’s a wife and mother who dies, leaving TV executive Pietro Paladini (Moretti) and his little daughter, Claudia (Yoshimi), to go on alone.


Or not exactly. Claudia, cushioned by routine, returns to school. Pietro, to whom office politics no longer appeal, instinctively decides to wait for her all day, every day in the park outside the gates. Father and daughter seem disconcertingly composed. But mourning can take many forms, and Pietro’s experience of it, as life swirls around him with benign disregard, is that in order to heal, he must first accept the need to grieve. 


Moretti is unerringly simpatico as a man coming to terms with a whole new self. But it’s the gentle flurry of human touches that make his passage a keeper.