7.1/10
11,368
87 user 96 critic

Italian for Beginners (2000)

Italiensk for begyndere (original title)
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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen ...
...
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen ...
Karen
...
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:

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:

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Release Date:

10 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Italiano para principiantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$52,536 (USA) (18 January 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Lone Scherfig has said that the positive effect of the Dogme 95 rules can be felt instantly in the writing process, specifically in the way you have to use your imagination to make a film work under their limitations. 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

References Dancer in the Dark (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Bravo!
21 March 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This is a very intimate and enjoyable film. It shows every day characters in their own surroundings interacting in a manner that is very naturalistic and true. Director Lone Scherfig has directed with a sure hand and the situation is believable.

The ensemble cast plays well, as it is with the majority of the Dogme95 films. At times, they make us forget that we are watching a film, as it struck me, that I was just intruding in the life of a bunch of people in that town in Denmark.

What is amazing is that the film doesn't become an Italian travelogue as it would have been the case had this story been done by a non-Scandinavian director with pressures from studio heads. It has the right amount ingredients and it makes a delicious minestrone for all to enjoy.

Bravi a tutti!


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