‘The Hand of God’ Review

The Hand of God is Paolo Sorrentino’s most personal film yet that fires on all cylinders.

CREDIT: Netflix


Paolo Sorrentino has returned with his most intimate film to date. It is his most intimate because The Hand of God is brought straight from Sorrentino’s life. I will always cherish Sorrentino’s work especially because it is tied to some of my fondest memories in undergrad. I watched The Great Beauty in my Italian Cinema class taught by someone I consider to be a great mentor. When word came out that last year Sorrentino would release a new film I was more than excited. Paolo Sorrentino is that type of director who instantly sells me on their films when news breaks out about them.

The Hand of God is written, produced, and directed by Italian director, Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty). The film stars Filippo Scotti, Toni Servillo, Teresa Saponangelo, Marlon Joubert, Luisa Ranieri, Renato Carpienteri, Massimiliano Gallo, and Betty Pedrazi. It is the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. The Hand of God was nominated for Best International Feature Film at this year’s Academy Awards. The film is a coming-of-age story that looks at the life of Fabietto (Filippo Scotti) as he maneuvers a sudden tragedy in his life. The story is inspired by Sorrentino’s youth and the sudden tragic passing of his parents at a young age while living in Naples.

The Hand of God is yet another masterful achievement from Paolo Sorrentino. It is filled with tender heartbreak that reaches into the deepest corners of the heart. Sorrentino’s style is different but for all the good reasons as he tackles his most personal story yet. There are some performances that don’t stick as much as they should but it is Filippo Scotti who steals the show. Scotti’s body language is felt throughout the whole film and truly allows for one to feel every ounce of emotion the film needs to bring. The film is exquisitely shot bringing to the forefront a very naturalistic style that still feels familiar to Sorrentino’s past films. I found myself really engaged with the film especially in the story even as it drags here and there. The message of the film is so clearly presented that one can’t even fault Sorrentino for wanting to take his time to flesh it out. Art should always be personal and The Hand of God is as personal as you can get within the filmography of one of the greatest directors right now.

Watch The Hand of God on Netflix.

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