Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only outlet from her and the increasing debt into which they are sinking, are the increasingly...
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Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only outlet from her and the increasing debt into which they are sinking, are the increasingly frequent quiet sessions at the local tavern. As an Oriental saying goes, 'Moments of crisis are moments of opportunities'. These appear during the celebration of the holiday of Ferragosto on 15 August. That's when everybody leaves town to have fun. Opportunity knocks on Gianni's door in the most unexpected way. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
Writer/director Gianni Di Gregorio is also the star of this delightful little film about loneliness, tolerance, and seeing the silver lining. The film glows with a richness of spirit that is very satisfying and humorous and uplifting. Apparently Pranzo di Ferragosto (or Feast of Assumption) is that holiday in mid august when all Italians head for the shore so get away from the heat. Gianni lives in Rome with his very elderly and demanding mother (Valeria De Franciscis), broke, with mounting tabs at the grocers and the winery, but he prides himself in his culinary skills with which he keeps his mother satisfied. He spends his days whopping and sipping wine with his old friend Viking (Luigi Marchetti). When his friend and condo manager Alfonso (Alfonso Santagata) pays a visit to remind Gianni how he is behind in his rent and obligations for the condo, Gianni is depressed but Alfonso has a plan: take care of his mother (Marina Cacciotti) during the weekend of Pranzo di Ferragosto and Gianni's debts will be forgiven. Gianni agrees as does his mother, but when Alfonso arrives with his mother in tow he also brings his aunt (Maria Cali) who also needs a place to stay in Alfonso's absence. The local doctor (Marcello Ottolenghi) pays a house call to check on Gianni and his mother and in passing asks Gianni to look after HIS mother (Grazia Cesarini Sforza), too. This leaves Gianni with a full house, a shared television, minimal beds, but they all make do and with the help of his old friend Viking the two to entertain the three old ladies. They cook a fine mid-August meal and the old lades dress up and dance, having more fun than they have had since their youth.
It is a slight story but one told with a warmth and compassion that is endearing to experience. For light but tender entertainment this film is a major winner!
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