Silvio Soldini (Bread and Tulips, Days and Clouds, Come Undone) has done it again made a film that restores faith in the little man and the little woman in their plights to race for dreams. Writing with Doriana Leondeff and Marco Pettenello he has give us a story the bubbles like Asti Spumante and while being hilariously funny it brims over with genuine sentiment.
The title comes from Soldini's focus on the statue of Garibaldi in the central square of Genoa, Italy a statue whose voice (courtesy of Pierfrancesco Favino) commiserates with the statue of Cazzaniga (voiced by Gigio Alberti) about the sad state of affairs and corruption in Italy and the discussion is played out by the antics of the people of the streets below them. Leo (Valerio Mastancrea) is a widowed plumber (his deceased wife Teresa Claudia Gerini appears to him as a 3-dimensional ghost who misses her family and urges Leo to find a new woman) who struggles to support his two children - Maddalena (Serena Pintucci), who is horrified when she discovers that her boyfriend has videotaped her en flagrante and placed it on the internet, and her younger brother, nerdy Elia who spends his time feeding and talking to a stork named Agostina. Concurrently we meet shady lawyers Malaffano (Luca Zingaretti) who cheat honest people, a 'landlord' Amanzio (Giuseppe Battiston who illegally demands rent, especially from a starving artist Diana (Alba Rohrwacher) who in turn agrees to paint a mural for Malaffano and there meets Leo who is agreeing to 'do a deal' for the lawyer by providing a signature on an illegal house purchase in order to make enough money to defend his daughter's case against the boy who placed the sex tape on the internet. To top it off Amanzio becomes friends with Elia and when Elia's stork Agostina goes missing, agrees to drive Elia to Switzerland to find her. Meanwhile Leo and Diana have bonded, Diana has a new boyfriend Emiliano (Michele Maganza) who turns out to be spying, and everything spins to a peculiar but satisfying end.
Soldini's little stories make significant comments on the problems of life at the present time not only with people but with the corruption of the cities. He peppers his script with many quotations from famous people of history, a factor that adds a dimension of dignity to this wonderful bit of charming lighthearted comedy. Highly recommended.
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