A study of the friendship between two contemporary Italian women. One is a pharmacist from the affluent North East, while the other is an impoverished shop assistant living in the South ... See full summary »
In Genoa, Agata runs her bookstore and, without meaning to, causes light bulbs and appliances to burn out. At the same time that a younger man declares his attraction to her, her brother ... See full summary »
Enrico Giusti works to help agencies getting out of bad management situations. The sudden death of two entrepreneurs leaves their young children in charge of the family business. This will be a huge challenge for Enrico.
Mario leads a normal life, working in a Milan bank. His daily routine is shattered when he witnesses a murder and is shot himself by the killer, a deranged police commissioner. To save his ... See full summary »
Anna, mother of three, has lived for forty years in her corner of hell. She was an impertinent and unfortunate girl, but by now she has become a generous woman, perhaps far too tolerant. ... See full summary »
When her father, Giancarlo is transferred to Rome from the small country town of Montalto Di Castro, Caterina, a 12 years old girl, will discover her new classmates, a totally new world, an... See full summary »
Guido and Antonia are a young couple with opposing characters and working schedules: he works a night job as a doorman in a hotel, and she works as an employee for a rental car service. ... See full summary »
Two actors leave on a theatrical tour, but there is a matter to be settled: one has become the lover of the other's girl-friend and since they are very good friends, cannot bring himself to... See full summary »
In my view, one of the best films to come out of Italy in the last 20 years (although, strictly speaking, the director is Swiss Italian). Set in Milan in the summer of 1989 against the background of the fall of communism, the film examines the lives of four frustrated individuals whose lives intertwine:- a market researcher whose great ambition is to be an anthropologist and write about an unknown tribe in some remote island (but is it a real ambition or just a conveniently unrealisable dream?); a nurse who does not want emotional ties but meets two men, neither of whom are what they seem; a freelance translator unable to adapt to a big city when her husband is transferred to Milan; and a scientist who in his spare time watches videos of tennis matches from the Borg/MacEnroe era (although even he is beginning to find it a bit of a bore). Only one of them ultimately has the courage to make anything like a radical break with the past.
It is difficult to say exactly why I thought this film was so good. It's not rip-roaringly funny nor tear-jerkingly sad and I wouldn't say it is particularly deep. The fact that I live in Milan may have influenced me. Nevertheless, it is well-acted, moves at a fast pace (bearing in mind that it's not a car-chase type movie) and is ultimately thought-provoking. The characters are ordinary people with normal 3-D personalities, i.e. no one is jet-set, no one is exceedingly rich. The characters are neither irredeemably wicked nor goodie-goodies, and I personally had mixed feelings about all of them.
The title is intended to be ironic: despite the triumph of the West and of capitalism in 1989, life in the affluent West is not automatically a bed of roses and happines can be as elusive as anywhere else. Those who lived through communism in eastern Europe and elsewhere may take issue.
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