Gianni, Nicola and Antonio become close friends in 1944 while fighting the Nazis. After the end of the war, full of illusions, they settle down. The movie is a the story of the life of ... See full summary »
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Gianni, Nicola and Antonio become close friends in 1944 while fighting the Nazis. After the end of the war, full of illusions, they settle down. The movie is a the story of the life of these three idealists and how they deal with the inevitable disillusionments of life. Written by
Oh... and who is she?
She's a friend of mine.
She's hot. Have you slept with her?
Sleep Torquato, sleep. His lethargic encephalitis causes strong intellectual degradation.
Yeah right. You leave us alone and I'll show you the... the degradation.
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"We All Loved Each Other So Much" is one of those classics referenced here and there (though not so frequently) as a spectacular masterpiece, an almost unknown treasure to be sought and seen. After years looking for it I can finally say those opinions are right. But the movie deserves more. A heavy airplay on cable or even regular TV, a Criterion Collection treatment or a bigger studio making a massive home video release instead of cult cine-clubs who exhibit it from time to time. This movie is on the same league as "Amarcord", "Cinema Paradiso" and "Splendor" (1989) . The latter, like this one, is also directed by Ettore Scola and could be included as part of an informal Scola trilogy about nostalgia, that should be completed with "Le Bal" (1983). The themes and presentation of such are beautifully told, almost like a trademark that Italian and French cinema use frequently and always getting positive results that American cinema only dreams of reaching. The mark achieved here is to show the importance of memory, how time changes it, and the way things and events mold our essence, our friendships, our loves, our interests and each person's definition of happiness. And most important of all: how movies are a great part of all those things.
This is about three friends who served on the Italian resistance fighting against the Nazists and how their lives changed of direction during a course of 30 years. Mostly is about their similarities (at one point they all fell in love with the same woman) and the problems and events brought on them, with meetings and mismatches along the way. They are: Antonio (Nino Manfredi), a dedicated nurse whose career just stalled because of his political views, contrary to the current norm; the lawyer Gianni (Vittorio Gassman) an impeccable professional at the city hall who ends up corrupted by a powerful industrialist; and Nicola (Stefano Satta Flores), a movie buff who later becomes a film critic leaving family and kid behind after defending the greatness of "Bicycle Thieves" when the movie club he was part of accused De Sica's masterpiece of giving Italy a bad fame to the world.
The space is short, and I can't talk about all the characters but I must focus on my favorite, and the one I believe most of us will strongly identify with: the film addict, vigorously played by Satta Flores. Admit it, we are like him. Not in the wider sense of being extreme like he was but close. But I think we could lose friendships over our film ideals, defended to the death; we all like to believe we know everything about the subject and we really feel sorry for him when he loses the TV quiz about Italian cinema with a problematic misinterpreted question (he was right on the issue but the proposition was more simple than his answer). And if possible we would talk hours and hours and with the same verve and passion displayed by him. In an unforgettable moment, he recreates the Odessa stair sequence from "Battleship Potemkin" just to amuse a girl - and he succeeds it a bit! And that's what this movie is about: the power of movies and its importance in one's life. Nicola, like Antonio is known for his labor, don't get paid well and is far gone from his idealistic days after the war but he's deeply involved with what he does. A little cynic but happy which is the complete opposite of the more distanced friend, Gianni - but that's a story for you to discover by watching it.
Scola's nostalgic look for the past is embraceable, real, colorful but not that much, revealing the essence of who we truly are, people who think to have control over everything in our lives and we don't. At times engaging, lovely, other times saddening and so hard to not include events of your life and compare it with what the characters go through. Time comes and goes, our needs change, our concept of life and happiness go the same way as well or don't, we can disagree on politics and movies but there's friendship, love, admiration. And we are deeply connected by experiences, the best ones and the worst ones. I think if the trio had to select a moment to remember it would be their final battle during the war, in those snowy mountains. They would never have that same bond again. My favorite bit involving one of them was when the nurse got stopped by a film crew making "La Dolce Vita". The magic of it? Fellini and Mastroianni are there to play themselves recreating the famous Fontana de Trevi sequence, fourteen years later. Unforgettable. You won't be the same after watching this. 10/10
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