Primo and Secondo are two brothers who have emigrated from Italy to open an Italian restaurant in America. Primo is the irascible and gifted chef, brilliant in his culinary genius, but determined not to squander his talent on making the routine dishes that customers expect. Secondo is the smooth front-man, trying to keep the restaurant financially afloat, despite few patrons other than a poor artist who pays with his paintings. The owner of the nearby Pascal's restaurant, enormously successful (despite its mediocre fare), offers a solution - he will call his friend, a big-time jazz musician, to play a special benefit at their restaurant. Primo begins to prepare his masterpiece, a feast of a lifetime, for the brothers' big night... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Primo, Tony Shalhoub's name in Big Night, translates as "First". Secondo, Stanley Tucci's character, translates as "Second". This relates to their birth order in the film. It is briefly referenced in the Cadillac scene when Secondo meets Bob (the car salesman played by Campbell Scott). (Additionally, Shalhoub's character in The Impostors (1998) was named Voltri, First Mate - a possible reference to Primo.) See more »
The pianist in Pascal's restaurant is playing an electronic keyboard, the likes of which would not be invented for another twenty years or more. See more »
[offers a taste asking opinion in Italian]
Not too fine, eh? Sometimes you cut it too fine, then all you taste is the garlic!
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I can't even begin to explain how much I love this film. First, it may be one of the great "food movies" of all time. Anyone who considers him/herself a lover of good food and doesn't drool over the "timpano" alone should check their pulse... And the performances are remarkably restrained, yet lively. Stanley Tucci is sublime, Tony Shalhoub is, as always, a marvel. Truly interesting camerawork that draws one in, yet doesn't detract (or distract) from the story or the characters. Because, at its heart, this is a character-driven piece -- about the love and mutual respect shared by two strong-willed siblings. Someday I will take part in a feast like that shared by the characters in this film, and on that day, I will be an extraordinarily happy man. Until then, I'll watch this movie again and again.
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