Monday, 29 February 2016


Hugely popular in his native Italy but very appreciated abroad too, Il commissario Montalbano is a detective drama launched in 1999 by pubcaster RAI and starring Luca Zingaretti as Commissario Salvo Montalbano. Montalbano is chief inspector of police in Vigàta, a Sicilian town in the district of Montelusa.

The series is based on the crime novels published since 1994 by writer, director and screenwriter Andrea Camilleri. It is aired in the UK by BBC Four as Inspector Montalbano and in France on France 3 as Commissaire Montalbano. Since 2012 there's also a prequel series called The Young Montalbano (Il giovane Montalbano), starring Michele Riondino.

Il commissario Montalbano returns today on RAI 1 for two highly anticipated new feature-length episodes: Una faccenda delicata  (tonight at 9.20pm) and La piramide di fango, aired next week. The former is based on a short story from the collection Un mese con Montalbano (1998) and on La povira Maria Castellino, a short story from the collection  Gli arancini di Montalbano (1999). The latter is adapted from the novel of the same name (2014). Livia Burlando is now played by Italian actress Sonia Bergamasco.

She's the third to perform the role of Salvo's permanent fiancee, after Swedish actress Lina Perned in the 2013 episodes and Austrian actress Katharina Böhm. Fortunately, Cesare Bocci (Mimì Augello), Peppino Mazzotta (Giuseppe Fazio) and Angelo Russo (Agatino Catarella) are back. As well as Roberto Nobile (Nicolò Zito), Marcello Perracchio (Doctor Pasquano), Davide Lo Verde (Galluzzo), etc.

Una faccenda delicata is adapted by Francesco Bruni, Andrea Camilleri and Leonardo Marini. La piramide di fango is adapted by Francesco Bruni and Andrea Camilleri. Both are directed by Montalbano regular helmer Alberto Sironi. Music composed and directed by Franco Piersanti. Franco Lecca is the cinematographer. Inspector Montalbano is produced by Palomar and RAI Fiction. Produced by Carlo Degli Esposti, founder and president of Palomar, and Nora Barbieri with Max Gusberti. Marco Camilli is the producer for Palomar and Erica Pellegrini produces for RAI.

Carlo Degli Esposti is also behind Braccialetti rossi, the popular RAI 1 version of Spanish drama Polseres vermelles (since 2014) and I delitti del BarLume (since 2013), adapted for Sky Cinema 1 from the crime novels of Marco Malvaldi. Inspector Montalbano is distributed by Rai Com. The first 22 episodes are available in France on DVD from Koba Films. (The blog of Carlo Degli Esposti)

[Update - March 11, 2016] (Spoiler-Free "mini review" of Una faccenda delicata) (Spoiler-Free "mini review" of La piramide di fango)

[Update - April 24, 2017]
(Spoiler-Free review of Come voleva la prassi)
(Spoiler-Free review of Un covo di vipere)

See also:

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