The Goddess of Fortune (originally titled La dea fortuna) by director Ferzan Ozpetek is a romantic tale of long-term relationships and the struggles faced in keeping the spark alive.

When gay couple Alessandro (Eduardo Leo) and Arturo (Stefano Accorsi) have an old friend come back into their lives, it causes an upheaval of emotions and frustrations in their relationship.

From the opening scene at a wedding, you can see that Alessandro and Arturo’s relationship is anything but conventional, but they have a group of supportive neighbours and friends who all look out for each other.

Enter Annamaria (Jasmine Trinca), who rocks up on their doorstep with her two illegitimate children in tow asking to stay for a few days and the rift is formed between them.

Miscommunication between couples and family is a running theme throughout the film and one that is relatable to anyone who has been in a romantic relationship. Whether it’s not sharing plans or not being open about your feelings, the party not privy to the information is always left betrayed.

The performances of Acorsi as Arturo the struggling writer turned philosophy translator and Leo as Alessandro the more masculine player/plumber are expertly crafted with equal parts nuance and fierceness.

Other highlights are the brave performances by Annamaria’s children Martina and Sandro who struggle with the dynamics of their new home environment.

Trinca as the carefree Annamaria is brilliant as she re-establishes her friendship with the couple upon difficult circumstances.

Italians do romance so well, and maybe the setting of modern day Rome and it’s picturesque outskirts helps but it’s the people who really make you feel strongly for the characters in The Goddess of Fortune.

It’s easy to see why this film has garnered such acclaim and is a top pick for the Italian Film Festival this season.

***** 5 stars

Get tickets to The Goddess of Fortune and other Italian films at the Italian Film Festival at Palace Nova from September 29 – October here.