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Cannes 2009: “Vincere.”

Cannes 2009: “Vincere.” (photo)

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If Giovanna Mezzogiorno wants to be Italy’s answer to Angelina Jolie, “Vincere” is her “Changeling,” and how unfortunate. “Vincere,” directed by Marco Bellocchio, is the story of Ida Dalser, the first wife of Benito Mussolini and mother to his first son, Benito Albino Mussolini. By World War I, Mussolini had finished with her and married Rachele Guidi, resorting to a dictator-style divorce of Dalser by taking her child, dumping her in an insane asylum and having all records of their union effaced, save for the marriage certificate she hid, never to be found.

Bellocchio does neither the character nor the actress any favors in making Dalser’s passion such an amour fou — in the first few scenes, she falls instantly for the future Il Duce when, at a Socialist meeting, he gives God a five minute window to prove his divine existence by striking Mussolini down. She tracks him to a protest, and beds him the scene after, without the two having exchanged a word. At the theater, he watches the screen while she watches him, adoringly; later, she sells all of her things, including her store and apartment, to help fund his new newspaper. He’s more in love with war (“War! War! War!” they sing on the soundtrack and blaze on the screen) and furious political ambitions. As played by Filippo Timi, Mussolini is a stylized character — he’s Mussolini — and in that early time Dalser seems so too, the pair in their black-clad overheated clinches recalling nothing so much as Gomez and Morticia Adams, romancing amidst operatic film flourishes and archive footage. It’s weird, but it has potential — alas, soon Mussolini fades from the screen, though his presence looms off it, and “Vincere” becomes the would-be woeful tale of Dalser’s persecution. By then it’s far too late to be asked to invest in her as a suffering martyr to history — she’s been drawn as scary and a bit genuinely crazy, not to mention maddeningly delusional about Mussolini’s coming to retrieve her and oblivious to how unwise her continued shouting about her connection to him is when he’s denied her existence, refused contact and has her continually surveilled. Unfortunately, “He Just Not That Into You” would not be published for decades.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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