Matteo Garrone's dark comedy on the seductive power of TV goes some way to explaining why Italians vote Berlusconi
Four years after his acclaimed Gomorrah, director Matteo Gorane returns to Naples with this dark comedy.
Reality opens with a gigantic wedding where Luciano - the excellent Aniello Arena - proves a dab hand at upstaging the "celebrity" guest of honour from the Italian version of Big Brother.
Spurred on by his family, the affable and charismatic fishmonger auditions for the reality show in a bid to escape the drudgery of his existence.
But while awaiting the result of his try-out, convinced his destiny is about to be realised, Luciano becomes increasingly unhinged.
In a film which combines social satire and physical comedy, Garrone shows a protagonist who's a victim of the showbiz dream, chasing success to change his life and gambling all on making it on TV, the place where the deluded dream of changing their mundane existence.
Well-scripted and shot, it's a film with echoes of Fellini and da Sica and it gives a unique perspective on trash culture and the Italian mentality for a British audience.
You won't need to ask, after seeing this, why Italians keep voting for Berlusconi.
It's a modern fairy tale which merits a second viewing.