The aging, conservative population of a small, sleepy village in the Italian Alps are surprised to see that a former French professor has settled there with his young wife and their three ...
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The aging, conservative population of a small, sleepy village in the Italian Alps are surprised to see that a former French professor has settled there with his young wife and their three children to produce goat cheese, in order to escape the wrongs of civilization. At first they are suspicious of his unconventional ideas and lifestyle, then are conquered by the enthusiasm, kindness, helpfulness of the young family and start to see in them a possible rebirth of the place. But little by little misunderstandings, envy and conflicts take over. Written by
Luisa Bertolini <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Underrated would be the main qualification for this splendid movie.
It's a pity that our taste has been ruined by the avalanche of movies made with the technique used for TV commercials --superfast cutting almost to the point of never assimilating the scene, it goes by so fast-- and of course, accompanied by guns, shooting, blowing people and vehicles all over the screen, violence being the most important factor in practically every film.
This time we are confronted with a very different product. This movie starts very quietly --directed very evenly by Giorgio Diritti-- a car drives through gorgeous sceneries --Italy, the Piamonte region-- valleys, mountains, incredibly majestic setting, and a zigzagging road bordering a deep abyss, and we are introduced to a couple of natives within the car, discussing the selling or renting of one of the properties in this small village --Ussolo, within the valley Maira-- that once, in 1900 had 1.000 inhabitants and nowadays no more than 50? to a french cheese maker.
At first the quite old natives are very enthusiastic about the new arrival, since the village is almost dead --everybody left it long ago to look for better lives in faraway places-- and they make plans, thinking that the cheese maker could be a good addition to the summer months when the tourists will come (In winter the weather is very bitter and the snow covers everything).
The film develops this idea starting with a very moving reception from the natives to the newcomers from France --only this couple are professional actors: Thierry Toscan and Alessandra Agosti-- but everybody else in this movie is as good an actor as anybody you could think of-- and slowly but surely incidents start building up and greed, envy and the worst feelings in human beings start to raise their ugly heads.
Excellent development, excellent camera work and excellent everything! If you saw "Stromboli" with Ingrid Bergman --Rosellini directing-- this film has an approximation in its story to that one, that is, the main characters are driven out of the village because if they remain, their lives will become hellish.
It's very impressive the way one notices the gradation of moods changing from good to nasty. And when I say nasty, I mean NASTY.
To me, this is a jewel of the Italian cinema, but unfortunately, a totally noncommercial production. The film is in Italian and the particular dialect (Occitane) of this place --very difficult to understand, so much so that when they speak it, the subtitles in Italian translate the meaning TO ITALIANS!
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