Bologna, 1954. Taddeo, a young man of 18 whom everyone calls Kid, dreams of becoming one of the regulars of the mythical Margherita Café, located under the portico across from his family's ... See full summary »
Bologna, 1954. Taddeo, a young man of 18 whom everyone calls Kid, dreams of becoming one of the regulars of the mythical Margherita Café, located under the portico across from his family's home. Through a ploy, he manages to get work as the chauffeur for Al, the neighborhood's most glamorous and mysterious resident. Having been taken under Al's wing, Taddeo gets to witness the adventures of Bep, who is in love with Marcella the entraineuse; the trials and tribulations of Gian, an aspiring singer and the victim of a horrible practical joke; the crazy behavior of Manuelo, a small-time robber with a sex phobia; the meanness of Zanchi, inventor of the elastic necktie; and the bizarre manias of Sarti, a ballroom dancing champion who wears his tux day and night. And Taddeo's home life is no less out of the ordinary, considering his mother is being led on by the family physician while his grandfather has fallen head over heels for a well-built piano teacher. Written by
Starz Denver Film Festival
When Taddeo's borrowing three books from Beatrice, presumably in a public library, on the shelf in the background are clearly visible the volumes of a series started in 1966 (Classici dell'arte, published by Rizzoli). See more »
A nostalgic look at a place lost in time is at the center of this story which is set in the Bologna of the 1950s. The bar Margherita was a sort of club where mostly men, gathered nightly to socialize, have a good time and get into all kinds of mischief playing practical jokes, some of which backfired on them, or were just plain cruel. The different pictures adorning the walls of the bar tells a story about the years when life was less complicated.
The story is seen through Taddeo a young man who manages to become the driver of Al, a shady character with full of mystery. Al had a passion for playing billiards and women. Bep, a loner, gets engaged to the fat Beatrice. His friends at the bar try to make him break his engagement and future marriage by engaging Marcella, a woman from the Esedra night club frequented by Al.
One of the cruelest jokes done by the guys at the Margherita has to be the one where Gian, a man that dreams of being a singer is told his opportunity has come. The guys managed to fake an invitation for Gian to participate in the yearly festival of song at San Remo. We watch the poor man preparing for what he thinks is his opportunity to get a name, only to be ridiculed by the organizers of the event who have not a clue about Gian having been invited to perform.
Pupi Avati's love for his native Bologna shows in many ways in this comedy that takes a look at a more naive time. He focuses on a group of idlers that pass the time when things were simpler. The film reminds us of other Italian films about the same theme. Men do not seem to want to get serious. They basically want to have a good time and not think of more important matters.
Mr. Avati gathers a marvelous cast, among them Diego Abatantouno, Laura Chiati, Luigi LoCascio, Fabio De Luigi, Neri Marcore, the great Katia Ricciarelli, and Claudio Botosso, who is seen as Taddeo, shine. The large supporting players do a good job for Mr. Avati. A nostalgic music score by Lucio Dalla is one of the assets of the film as well as the cinematography by Pascuale Rachini.
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