Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) hates his life in Me And You.
ME AND YOU (Bernardo Bertolucci). 98 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (June 27). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Early on in Me And You, profoundly alienated Roman teen Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) asks his mother if she'd have sex with him if they were the last two people on earth, and you expect Bernardo Bertolucci is heading into risky Last Tango In Paris territory.
But the ailing director - there's talk that this might be his last film - plays it safe in a story about a different kind of human connection.
Like Tango, it's set almost totally inside one room, the basement of an apartment building where Lorenzo has gone into hiding while pretending to be on a school ski trip. The sudden arrival of his half-sister, Olivia (Tea Falco) - mercurial visual artist and junkie - changes everything.
There are clunky elements - Lorenzo's strange experiments with insects and eye-rollingly obvious sequences meant to reflect life's tedium - but the performances are great, especially by newcomer Olmo Antinori; the soundtrack featuring, among others, the Cure, Arcade Fire and David Bowie, is artfully curated; and it's impossible not to care about the connection between the half-siblings.
As Bertolucci pics go, however, You And Me seems small.