Matteo Rovere has taken a liking to it with the series: afterwards Romulus, whose second season has just ended, this time focuses its lens on Turin at the end of the nineteenth century. To be precise, we are in 1883 and we follow the adventures of a real woman, Lidia Poët. The first lawyer in Italy had to suffer a lot to establish herself in a world that was not only competitive, but at the time purely male. However, the Italian Netflix series is not exactly her biography: before starting the review by Lidia Poët’s law it must be specified.
On the streaming platform since February 15, the six episodes of Lidia Poët’s law are inspired by the story of the lawyer, but in reality this is a real series of investigations, more thriller e crime that faithful to the real facts. However, the court ruling that revokes the protagonist’s lawyer license is painfully true: the recited text is exactly the one read in the courtroom 150 years ago. It is said that “it is not good for females to deal with law, devaluing the seriousness of the profession”. She words like stones, which however the protagonist – both the real one and this fantasy one – didn’t let them define her.
To interpret Lidia Poët is Matilda De Angelisback on set with Matthew Oak After Fast as the wind, film that launched his career. There could not have been a more suitable actress for this part: De Angelis gives her character the necessary determination and intelligence, but she also decided to make her funny and imperfect, very human. From the very first images we immediately understand that we are dealing with a more modern woman than the era in which she lives: the clothes with unusual details, such as insect-shaped brooches and jewellery, the messy rented house (perpetually in arrears), the sharp tongue and the joy of non-marital sex make him an awkward figure for the Torino of 1883. And a perfect character for 2023.
I’m a woman, I’m not a lawyer
The texture of Lidia Poët’s law It’s simple: a woman who has the ambition and ability to be a lawyer, the same profession as her father, is hindered in every way. Brother Henry (Pier Luigi Pasino), also a lawyer, he tells her clearly: she has a teacher’s diploma, which she teaches. Or that she gets married, like all “normal girls”. Enrico’s wife, Teresa (Sarah Lazarus): “If God wanted you to be a lawyer, He didn’t make you a woman“. In short, as has often happened and still happens, when women want to do something, anything, they have to start from – 50 points just to be taken into consideration. Let alone to be considered credible.
Let’s rob the Duce, Matilda De Angelis: “It was the most beautiful emotion of my life!”
And it is in these continuous difficulties that Lidia becomes ever better: she studies as much as she can, keeps updating herself, becoming prepared on cutting-edge techniques for the time, if not totally unknown in Italy, such as fingerprinting and the ” volumetric glove” (lie detector). Not only. The more she is humiliated and insulted, the more she becomes enterprising, almost Machiavellian: acting on the edge of the law, she manages to solve cases that seem impossible.
To help her there is Jacopo (Eduardo Scarpetta), brother of, who lives with the Poëts: journalist la Piedmontese Gazette (which would later become the newspaper The print), is fascinated by this woman so stubbornly determined not to be put in a corner, to live the life she wants and not the one that others have chosen for her since birth. Their relationship is one of complicity and soon turns into a Sherlock Holmes and Watson-like dynamic: just like the Baker Street detective and his faithful adventure companion, the two explore an underground and unprecedented Turin, in which each case becomes the pretext to talk about women. One case leads to talk of lesbian love, another of class struggle. It is impressive to him how, although much has fortunately changed, some thoughts are still very present in our society.
Lidia Poët’s Law is a series with international ambitions
The classic elements that “the algorithm likes” are all there: a link to a true story, an intelligent female protagonist, the story (or rather the stories) of love, the comic line, the teen line, period costumes, the crime genre. What makes the difference, however, is the personality of Matteo Rovere and his actors. Since photography, always better Vladan Radovicthe director does not bend to the standardized style of streaming platform products, choosing to shoot even with natural light, by candlelight and an oil lamp.
Romulus 2, Matteo Rovere: “Battle scenes like this have never been seen on Italian TV”
Supporting Matilda De Angelis, magnetic and brilliant on the small screen, there are prestigious interpreters such as Eduardo Scarpetta, who abandons the Neapolitan accent for the Piedmontese one, showing himself to be increasingly versatile and Pasino, very good at changing register with each scene. When Lidia begs him to let her work with him she doesn’t want to hear of it, but then she recognizes her abilities, convincing herself that her battle to be a lawyer is right. The relationship between the two brothers is perhaps the most beautiful and interesting of the whole series.
Well written, acted and directed, with a splendid Turin and refined costumes, Lidia Poët’s The Law is a series with international ambitions, which could be very popular all over the world. And we hope so: because this lawyer to solve cases is (almost) better than the lady in yellow. Hopefully we can find her again in a second season, with new puzzles to solve and a study of her all about her.
As written in the review of La legge by Lidia Poët, the Netflix series starring Matilda De Angelis directed by Matteo Rovere has international ambitions: freely inspired by the life of Italy’s first lawyer, it is a crime drama set in the 19th century, in which every case allows us to talk about women. The cast is excellent, Turin a beautiful backdrop, Vladan Radovic’s photography, which also uses natural light, has much more personality than the classic “platform photography”. A well made and fun product, which we hope will also be appreciated outside our country, so as to come back with new puzzles and seasons.
Because we like it
- Directed by Matteo Rovere.
- Vladan Radovic’s photography.
- The bravery of Matilda De Angelis.
- The ever better Eduardo Scarpetta and Pier Luigi Pasini.
- The costumes.
- Turin used as a set.
- Anyone who wanted a faithful biography of Lidia Poët might be disappointed.
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