You dive in it, you’re both worried and curious of it. It’s the opening long take of The Fortune Goddess, the new film by Ferzan Özpetek, where several aesthetical lines from his previous works seem to intertwine: Magnificent Presence, Facing Window for the explosion of sweet delicacies, Loose Cannons for the choral atmosphere of the family. And then of course Ignorant Fairies.

It’s just from a family matter that Özpetek’s latest film takes form: “I had the idea two years ago after a phonecall with my sister-in-law. As my brother was suffering from a pancreatic cancer, she wanted me to swear that my partner and I would have taken care of their kids in case something bad happened. I told her ‘yes, of course’ but then I was caught by anxiety. I called Gianni Romoli and we wrote…” this story of a gay couple in crisis (Stefano Accorsi and Edoardo Leo) who, at the same time, must deal with the illness of a dear friend (Jasmine Trinca) and take care of her children. “It’s wonderful when eroticism turns into affection. I didn’t want to send out a message, I just told my mood. Seeing how the person you love deals with children it’s an eye-opening experience.” The film deals with the homosexuality of the protagonists without exasperation, and gives room to people’s feelings in a delicate and powerful way.

The story of these two characters is not the only storyline though. The film can be seen an ensemble movie both for the rich cast (including Serra Yilmaz, Filippo Nigro, Pia Lanciotti, Cristina Bugatty) and the narrative micro-universes that collide on one another. Jasmine Trinca, playing Annamaria, explains the title of the film: “Annamaria embodies fortune in a classic way. It’s the chance: she bursts into these men’s life and transform a decrepit relationship; it’s an unexpected arrival that shakes up the balance. I think it’s extraordinary how pain can represent a transformative power for love. This film tells something very private for Ferzan.”

“It’s my way of looking at life, even in the most dramatic moments I tend lighten things and I like, both in life and cinema, to mix drama and comedy”, the director states. In The Fortune Goddess he chose themes and actors that are very dear to him, but he also dared with some pleasantly unexpected choices, such as Barbara Alberti for the first time on screen and playing the baroness mother. Edoardo Leo states: “I remember the feeling when I first read the script: Alessandro was the right character at this point in my career, the best thing that could’ve happened to me. This meant a manic commitment and a huge emotional investment. The biggest challenge was to play a plumber without being a cliché: I trusted Ferzan’s vision, asking him to guide and help me through the most difficult corners.” Stefano Accorsi, for the third time working with the director, adds: “When I read the script I got engaged and entertained. I found what I had already found in other scripts by Ferzan: a unique way to tell things that belong to everyone. With him, you always feel you’re alive!” The cast also includes two young actors playing Annamaria’s children, Edoardo brandi and Sara Ciocca, very much praised by the director.

The Fortune Goddess, corproduced by R&C Produzioni, is released theatrically on December 19th by Warner Bros in over 400 screens.