Nuovo Olimpo review: A sweet and sad romantic slog

Nuovo Olimpo follows two gay men in the ’70s who fall hard for each other before sadly drifting apart due to unexpected events. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.


It’s love at first sight for aspirant doctor Pietro and film director Enea, when they meet at Nuovo Olimpo, a theater that serves as a hookup spot for gays who can’t quite do the same in the open in the ’70s Rome.

A protest leads to chaos and also some severe injuries for Pietro, which is why he can’t reunite with Enea, and the two don’t meet up after that. Enea doesn’t turn back while Pietro does come back to the cinema to look for him.

Years later, Pietro is married to a woman named Giulia, while Enea has success in his career while going on to be in a relationship with Antonio, as he comes out publically as well.

The two lovers meet again, decades later, acknowledge their mistakes and reconcile, before saying their goodbyes again.

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Great Scarano plays the bereaved wife of Pietro, Titty. Scarano ekes out emotional depth that’s like a few others in the film.

Aurora Giovinazzo plays Alice, yet another woman lost in life trying to make sense of it all, while masquerading behind pretend facades.

Andrea Di Luigi plays Pietro with great conviction. The same goes for Damiano Gavino who plays Enea. Both of these talented actors render layered performances with an effortless ease.


There’s style oozing from many of the frames in Nuovo Olimpo, and the eras of the past are depicted with a lot of pizzazz.

The love story at the focus is a tragic one, the melancholy of which rings familiar. It is realistic how sometimes romance just doesn’t get to bloom because lovers part ways in unexpected ways.


The story is pretty stale and while the realistic depiction of a romance cut short because of unexpected turn of events is great, it is something that feels a bit too familiar a trope.

The runtime could’ve easily been brought down a few notches, or the story could’ve made things a bit more happening so that so much of it wouldn’t come across as such a tiresome slog.


Nuovo Olimpo treads familiar paths and it does with little creative flair or fervor. Sure, the actors and the fashion are easy to look at, but the story is pretty dull and dreary and the melancholy overtakes melodrama, which could’ve done wonders for the screenplay.

Nuovo Olimpo
Nuovo Olimpo review: A sweet and sad romantic slog 1

Director: Ferzan Özpetek

Date Created: 2023-11-01 12:30

Editor's Rating:

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