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The Embalmer(L'imbalsamatore)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Italy · 2002
1h 41m
Director Matteo Garrone
Starring Ernesto Mahieux, Valerio Foglia Manzillo, Elisabetta Rocchetti, Lina Bernardi
Genre Drama, Romance

Peppino is an aging taxidermist constantly ridiculed for being short and somewhat creepy. He meets Valerio, a handsome young man fascinated by Peppino's work. Peppino, in turn, becomes entranced by Valerio and offers him a large salary to come work as his assistant. But when Valerio meets Deborah, their fledgling romance is threatened by an insanely jealous third wheel.

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Variety by David Rooney

Director Matteo Garrone's measured approach and soulfully humane focus combine to dignify the characters, allowing the tale of solitude, longing and sorrow to inch quietly under the viewer's skin.


New York Daily News by Elizabeth Weitzman

At moments, the story skirts uncomfortably close to the grotesque. But this atmospheric oddity delivers a surprisingly sensitive take on the overwhelming ache of loneliness.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Both the actor and the character deserve a better movie, one that might have channeled the latter's desires into more than just a few rote genre thrills.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

Director and co-writer Matteo Garrone infuses The Embalmer with a spooky eroticism. The film is dark, both in theme and visual composition.

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