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Film / The Goddess Of Fortune

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The Goddess of Fortune (La Dea Fortuna) is a 2019 Italian comedy-drama movie directed by director Ferzan Özpetek and starring Jasmine Trinca, Stefano Accorsi and Edoardo Leo.

Arturo and Alessandro are a fifteen-year-strong couple living in Rome who, despite having a colourful circle of friends and a very nice rooftop home, are facing some serious strain. One day Annamaria, a friend of theirs, pops out of the blue and asks them to watch over her children while she has to admit herself in the hospital for a surgery...


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This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Elena, to Annamaria and Lorenzo in the past. She briefly becomes an Abusive Grandparent to Martina and Sandro.
  • Adult Fear: As Arturo and Alessandro have an argument, the kids disappear. They immediately start running through the streets screaming for them. They find the kids in a supermarket, thankfully unharmed.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous:
    • Deconstructed Trope, as Alessandro's tendency to sleep around is exacerbating his and Arturo's relationship problems.
    • Subverted with Arturo, whose affair is mostly emotional, yet still severely wounds Alessandro's pride.
  • All-Stereotype Cast: The protagonists' circle of friends: we have a gay couple, a Turkish immigrant, her trans daughter, a black girl, a man with anterograde amnesia...
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: At the end, Arturo and Alessandro hold hands after God knows how much time and, by doing the ritual of the Goddess of Fortune, tacitly admit they still love each other.
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  • The Backwards Я: See the film poster. Possibly just an aesthetic choice, since there's no particular Slavic inspiration or reference.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When leaving Elena's villa after Annamaria's funeral, Arturo and Alessandro hear the kids cry. They go to their rescue and decide to bring them back to Rome.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Elena appears, at first, welcoming to the kids if somewhat strict. Then she drops the act and she's revealed to be a racist, homotransphobic, ableist bigot.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Annamaria's dead, Arturo and Alessandro will have to be full-time parents without any prior preparation, and Elena threatens to sue them for child abduction. On the other hand, Alessandro is the kid's legal guardian per Annamaria's will and his relationship with Arturo seems to be healing.
  • Black Humour: When Elena shows Arturo the bed in which he'll stay as a guest - a tiny single bed, in a windowless room and a ton of ominous crosses on the wall above it -, she explicitly and gratuitously mentions that it's the death bed of her younger son. Arturo is clearly unnerved. Given The Reveal, it's possible she was deliberately screwing with him.
  • But Not Too Gay: Thought somewhat justified as they're traversing a crisis, the most affectionate thing Arturo and Alessandro do is holding each other's hand.
  • Children Raise You: Subverted. At first, Martina and Sandro prove to be another challenge for an already-strained relationship and it's only rescuing them from Elena's clutches that brings Arturo and Alessandro back together.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Annamaria has a sudden stroke and dies in Alessandro's arms, who was visiting her along with Arturo.
  • Disappeared Dad: Martina and Sandro's dad(s) don't factor at all in the story. Martina suspects that Alessandro is Sandro's father.
  • Evil Matriarch: Annamaria treats her mother Elena as this. As she abused both her and her brother severely when they were kids, so much so that her brother was Driven to Suicide, she has ample reasons for it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Annamaria's mother.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first half of the film is a kind of domestic comedy, with a childless gay couple whose relationship is on the rocks having to look after a friend's children. Then, after their bond definitely flounders and Annamaria dies the story switches to the conflict between the two men on the one side, and the kids' strict grandmother on the other side, about who will get to keep the kids.
  • Happy Rain: During the party with Annamaria at the protagonists' home it starts to rain, but everyone keeps dancing on the terrace in absolute bliss.
  • Has Two Daddies: The film's premise: a gay couple has to look after two siblings while their mother is in the hospital. They become their full-time parents at the end.
  • Hospital Hottie: Annamaria's doctor. Annamaria, Alessandro and Arturo are all immediately smitten.
  • Ill Girl: Annamaria.
  • Knight of Cerebus: After Elena is introduced roughly at the half-point of the film, Annamaria dies, the kids are stuck in an abusive home and the story takes a serious turn for the dramatic.
  • Manly Gay: Alessandro.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Downplayed. Alessandro ticks the boxes of a Manly Gay, but Arturo is more of a mild-mannered Straight Gay than outright camp or effeminate.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Alessandro is a good-looking man and has several scenes in his underwear. Arturo surprisingly holds his own as well, on the dad-bod side.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: In-Universe: Mina, who's a trans woman, chose her name after famous Italian singer Mina Mazzini.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ginevra, Elena's housekeeper, decides to turn against her employer and gives Arturo and Alessandro the keys to rescue the kids. They thank her by locking her in the cabinet with Elena.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The opening credits are set to a shot of a villa's rooms, ending on a large, heavy cabinet door behind which children's cries can be heard. This specific event is not seen again, but when the characters visit the place (Elena's villa) the meaning becomes clear. The opening is set several years in the past, and the children in the cabinet are Annamaria and her brother.
  • Opposites Attract: Deconstructed. One of the reasons their relationship has gone sour is because Alessandro (a gruff, manly plumber) thinks Arturo (a refined book editor) looks down on him. Alessandro further grows into this conviction when he discovers that Arturo has been cheating on him with an artist.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Elena's son Lorenzo (Annamaria's brother) died of an overdose several years prior. Then Annamaria dies of a congenital illness.
  • Out with a Bang: Narrowly averted with Arturo, who faints suddenly while having sex with his lover.
  • Posthumous Character: Lorenzo, Annamaria's brother. He died several years before the events of the film but he's crucial in understanding the dynamic in Annamaria's family.
  • Raised by Grandparents: When Alessandro and Arturo's relationship seems to have run its course, they decide (with Annamaria's reluctant assent) to bring the kids to their grandmother Elena in Sicily.
  • The Reveal: Elena knew from the start everything about her daughter Annamaria's life, including Arturo and Alessandro being a couple.
  • Say My Name: How Alessandro discovers Arturo's infidelity: Arturo passes out suddenly while having sex with his lover and calls for Alessandro. The lover searches through Arturo's phone for Alessandro's name and calls him.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: When the relationship between the two men fails and Annamaria dies, Arturo and Alessandro's quirky circle of friends essentially disappears from the film.
  • Significant Name Overlap: Sandro is a truncated form of Alessandro. The official explanation is that Annamaria has named her son after her best friend. Martina suspects that he was named after his father.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Annamaria: she first goes to the hospital for a few days' worth of check-ups, then the doctors discover a mysterious congenital illness necessitating a biopsy and brain surgery, and then she dies.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Annamaria, who just had brain surgery, tells Arturo and Alessandro that she's feeling better. Then she has a stroke and dies.
  • Threesome Subtext: Annamaria, Alessandro and Arturo were very close in the past, and Annamaria seems to still harbour affection for both men. One night she climbs into their bed between the two them, just like old times.
  • The Unreveal: Is Alessandro really Sandro's father? This question is never answered, and it's also rendered moot by Alessandro permanently becoming Sandro (and Martina's) de facto father at the end of the film.
  • Windows of the Soul: The idea behind the "ritual of the Goddess of Fortune", which Annamaria teaches to her kids: look at a person you love, then close your eyes and keep them shut so that their image can go down into your heart and stay there forever.

Alternative Title(s): La Dea Fortuna

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