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Direction: Ulrich Seidl

with Michael Thomas, Tessa Göttlicher, Hans-Michael Rehberg

Austria, France, Germany 2022, 114', German and Italian with english subtitles, FSK 16

from 06.10.2022

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The death of his mother brings Richie Bravo back from his adopted home in Italy to his teenage bedroom in Lower Austria, where Charlton Heston is still flexing his biceps and Winnetou is still alive. With a schnapps in hand and velvety Wurlitzer melodies in the air, he and his “piccolo fratello” bid farewell in the cellar to the parental home. His father is in a nursing home. Pop star Richie makes his money in Rimini. Life-size posters on the walls of his villa tell of a glorious past but the present is a damp squib. Richie claims he is still “con molto amore” – a bit of a squeeze, and squeezing is what it takes to get Richie into his corset and “jacketto”, with which he rhymes “perfetto”, before ardently crooning schmaltzy German songs in staid hotel foyers. Oozing sultry charm, this Austrian gigolo inveigles his way into the minds, bodies and wallets of women of a certain age.
Seidl’s new magnum opus is deeply romantic, even sad. No matter how dirty and perverse on the surface, few films capture life’s pathos as this one does. Bookended by Hans-Michael Rehberg’s last appearance on screen, Rimini stars Michael Thomas, who shines in the role of son, father and man. His suffering is as real and as false as his love, and his singing is the lonely soliloquy of a loser.

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