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Italian for Beginners (2000)
"Italiensk for begyndere" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 10,843 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 87 user | 94 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

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Title: Italian for Beginners (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen ...
...
...
Karen
Peter Gantzler ...
Lars Kaalund ...
Sara Indrio Jensen ...
Karen-Lise Mynster ...
Kirsten, the real estate dealer
Rikke Wölck ...
Lise, the nurse
Elsebeth Steentoft ...
Bent Mejding ...
Reverend Wredmann
Lene Tiemroth ...
Karen's Mother
Claus Gerving ...
Klaus Graversen
...
Olympia's Father
Merete Voldstedlund ...
Andreas' mother (scenes deleted)
Henning Jensen ...
Leif (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A young minister, a widower, is temporarily assigned to a church whose suspended pastor drove parishioners away; he stays at a hotel where he meets Jørgen, who's alone approaching middle age. Jørgen's friend Finn, a temperamental restaurant manager, may be about to be fired. Finn's assistant is Giulia, a lovely young Italian who prays for a husband. Olympia, a clumsy bakery clerk, has an ornery father; Karen, a hairdresser, has a mother who is very ill. The paths of these six characters cross at church, in the restaurant, at the hotel, and at an Italian class at the local adult school. Loneliness, grief, solace, romance, and love may meet 'nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita.' Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Asistencia Opcional. Pasión Requerida. (Attendance Optional. Passion Required) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 December 2000 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Italiano para principiantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£48,027 (UK) (3 May 2002)

Gross:

$4,447,186 (USA) (5 July 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film complies with several aesthetic principles of Dogme 95, including use of hand-held cameras and natural lighting. See more »

Goofs

At the Christmas service, the congregation use the hymn book to sing "Barn Jesus i en krybbe lå". However, this song was not included in the hymn book of 1953 (which would be the one used in the movie) as it was not considered a 'proper' hymn until 2003, when it was included in the newest version of the hymn book. See more »

Quotes

Olympia's Father: That sounds disgusting.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bodilfesten 2001 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

O sole mio
(1898)
Music by Eduardo Di Capua
Lyrics by Giovanni Capurro
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another dogme hit.
16 February 2001 | by (Slagelse, Denmark) – See all my reviews

At the time of writing, "Italian for beginners" is a big hit on the Berlin Film Festival. The reason may be that it´s another film made under the Dogme 95 certificate, but it can easily stand on its own, without comparison to "The Celebration", "The Idiots" and "Mifune". Basically it´s a comedy-drama (although one of the Dogme rules prohibits genre definition) telling several interwoven stories connected by the Italian-for-beginners-class. There are a whole variety of characters: the young pastor, the hothead short order cook from the sports restaurant, the clumsy girl from the bakery etc. All very recognizable everyday types, but beautifully realized by its talented cast, with special kudos to Peter Gantzler, cast against type and hilariously underplaying as the nerdish impotent hotel clerk. Lars Kaalund is also very funny, sporting a very authentic sounding Italian.

Director Lone Scherfig has made a very endearing, romantic film that is very universal in its tone, which is probably why it has performed so well at the Berlin film festival. For a feel-good movie experience, you should definitely go see "Italian for beginners".


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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