Nicola and Matteo Carati are two brothers of Rome, who live the years from 1966 to 2000 and all the events which have signed this period. They begin their adventure, helping Giorgia, a young girl confined in an asylum. Then, after the flood of Florence, Nicola meets Giulia a talented piano player with a dangerous sympathy for the BR. Matteo, a rebel spirit entered in the police, will find the optimistic photographer Mirella. These four characters and many others will cross the years of terrorism and Tangentopoli. Written by
In "La miglior Gioventu'" Marco Tullio Giordana attempts something quite ambitious: a "Novecento part 3" covering nearly 40 years of Italian history from 1966 to the present day. And that's the controversial, current history that will never make the books, the 40 years that dramatically changed Italy from the rural, ravaged, divided post war country through the illusory economic boom, the equally delusional insurgent years 1968 to 1977, and the more recent events.
Summarizing so much in raises more than one structural problem even for such a long movie: how to confine the action in some post-Aristotelian unit of extended family and friends? Giordana chooses an "intimate" perspective, starting the story from quite an unexpected angle of ordinary bourgeoisie and mental illness, and using it later as the key to his whole work.
Like in the "Hundred Steps" the first shots are of hope, with a great imitation of the Technicolor years and the skies of Rome with the "House of the Rising Sun" in the background. The unique events of one summer, 1966, bring two brothers and their friends inevitably and forever apart, each one of them stealing away a piece of the collective soul of that Italy that is about to change.
But in the Hundred Steps, Luigi Lo Cascio dies as Peppino Impastato, a martyr of the open rebellion to the "muro di gomma" of the invisible mafia control outside of Palermo. How vain is that sacrifice appears clearer in the first part of the Best of Youth, where Nicola gradually diverges from her partner Giulia, soon to disappear in the clandestine world of terrorist subversions of the "lead years." About that he writes of the idea of transforming the institutions from within. A necessary, painful transformation that often sees the brothers on the opposite ends of the spectrum, and the law.
LoCascio is excellent, as usual, a young De Niro with extra depth. Less effective is Alessio Boni, a TV actor in the admittedly difficult role of the brother Matteo, while Jasmine Trinca (Irene in The Son's Room) is unbelievably good as Giorgia, the mentally disturbed young woman whose sudden appearance in the life of Nicola and Matteo rolls the dice of history and guides each one of them on a different and possibly irreconcilable path. Trinca as Giorgia plays with silences and the averted gaze, a mute witness to the interior tragedy of Matteo: in an unforgettable scene matteo talks by himself about Giorgia's absence and inability to communicate, and we all realize he is really talking about himself, "matto" Matteo as she reveals with her first words after the long silence of forced confinement.
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