Directed by Matteo Garrone, 2015

Curzon Artificial Eye

At first it looks like an odd move for Matteo Garrone to make a film splicing together 17th-century Italian fables.

Then again, what are the bloated, self-mythologising mafiosi in his Gomorrah if not modern-day ogres; and what is the story of a hapless Big Brother hopeful in Reality if not a fairy-tale gone sour?

The episodic Tale of Tales is comic-grotesque in tone and opulently realised.

There are plenty of pearls here — barren queen Salma Hayek desperately devouring a magical cure that makes IVF look like a picnic; Vincent Cassel emerging unsated from an all-you-can-eat orgy and being seduced by a conniving crone; Toby Jones infatuated with a flea — just don’t expect much of a thematic thread to hang them on beyond “be careful what you wish for”.

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