Tommaso Willem Dafoe, Anna Ferrara, Christina Chiriac
Their relationship is in turmoil and Tommaso must come to terms with his wife’s desire to change the rules of their marriage. This change between Tommaso and his wife is set against his simple day to day life in Rome; as a student taking Italian classes, as a teacher working with young acting students, his dealings with the local markets and bars, and most importantly his relationship and the pure love he feels for his young daughter and she for him.
His artistic temper however brings another dynamic to
the film. There is the world and the world that exists
in Tomasso’s imagination, which especially concerns
and impacts Nikki and the other women in his sphere
of influence. He is a buddhist with active visions of
the passion of the Christ as well as an ex-addict and
alcoholic in active recovery, all in a city he calls home
but is still foreign with the language and his ability to
communicate a struggle. The drama builds from this
idea of reality and imagination, and resolves in the
discovery of what he and Nikki really want, need from
and are capable of giving each other and their family.
Abel Ferrara’s first dramatic feature since 2014’s Pasolini reteams the filmmaker and his frequent lead Willem Dafoe, who delivers a career-best performance as the title character, an older American expat living in Rome with his young wife and their daughter. Disoriented by his past misgivings and subsequent, unexpected blows to his self-esteem, Tommaso wades through this late chapter of his life with an increasingly impaired grasp on reality as he prepares for his next film. Tommaso is easily Ferrara and Dafoe’s most personal and engrossing collaboration to date, a delicately surrealistic work of autofiction marked by the keen sensitivity of two consummate artists.
"Tommaso" features some of the most resonant work of Dafoe's career, and is a late-career highlight for Ferrara - difficult, daring and mesmerizing. -Christopher Schobert, Buffalo News.