On Films: Examined Lives
February 25, 2002
The Italian film-maker Nanni Moretti has had a schismatic career. Almost unknown in America, he is a critical and public darling in Europe, a winner of festival prizes. Because he writes and directs and stars in his films and because his roles are generally quiet and thoughtful, and sometimes thoughtfully comic, he has been compared to Woody Allen. (No physical resemblance: Moretti is tall, slim, bearded, good-looking.) This is to compare George Gershwin with Stephen Sondheim simply because each wrote smart songs about contemporary life.