Seduction ★★★½

I suppose Fernando Di Leo's Seduction could be termed the "Italian Lolita" dealing as it does with a similar concept to Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel. The film gets off to a slow start as we watch Giuseppe rekindle his love with his childhood sweetheart Caterina after returning home. Things start to pick up as a relationship develops between Giuseppe and Grazeilla, Caterina's fifteen year old daughter. She is clearly depicted as a child, which makes the seduction all the more shocking when it begins - though the erotic aspect of the movie is skilfully handled by the director without being overly exploitative. The film is keen to explore relationships and the nature of men and women - from the anxieties of Caterina starting a new relationship in middle age, to the pain and humiliation of Giuseppe's affair with her daughter. We've also got a comedy side character delivering his questionable thoughts on women, while Giuseppe essentially can't control himself when it's offered on a plate. All three leads give stellar performances despite some unlikely characterization, and there's a few surprises as the story wraps towards its conclusion. Well worth a look.

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