7.1/10
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Italiensk for begyndere (2000)

Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

Director:

Writers:

(based on her novel "Evening Class"), (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen ... Andreas
... Olympia
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen ... Karen
... Jørgen Mortensen
Lars Kaalund ... Hal-Finn
Sara Indrio Jensen ... Giulia
Karen-Lise Mynster ... Kirsten, the real estate dealer
Rikke Wölck ... Lise, the nurse
Elsebeth Steentoft ... Kirketjener
Bent Mejding ... Reverend Wredmann
Lene Tiemroth ... Karen's Mother
Claus Gerving ... Klaus Graversen
... Olympia's Father
Merete Voldstedlund ... Andreas' mother (scenes deleted)
... Leif (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A young minister, a widower, is temporarily assigned to a church whose suspended pastor drove parishioners away; he stays at a hotel where he meets Jørgen, who's alone approaching middle age. Jørgen's friend Finn, a temperamental restaurant manager, may be about to be fired. Finn's assistant is Giulia, a lovely young Italian who prays for a husband. Olympia, a clumsy bakery clerk, has an ornery father; Karen, a hairdresser, has a mother who is very ill. The paths of these six characters cross at church, in the restaurant, at the hotel, and at an Italian class at the local adult school. Loneliness, grief, solace, romance, and love may meet 'nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita.' Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Attendance Optional. Passion Required. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sandrew Metronome

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

10 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Italiano para principiantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

DKK 4,563,271 (Denmark), 15 December 2000

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,047, 20 January 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,447,186, 7 July 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With its gross of $4,544,753 it is the highest grossing Danish film at the American box office. The record was previously held by Babette's Feast (1987). See more »

Goofs

When Karen turns the dial of the IV, she reduces the dose instead of increasing it. See more »

Quotes

Olympia's Father: That sounds disgusting.
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Connections

References Dancer in the Dark (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Barn Jesus i en krybbe la
(hymn)
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User Reviews

 
Another dogme hit.
16 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

At the time of writing, "Italian for beginners" is a big hit on the Berlin Film Festival. The reason may be that it´s another film made under the Dogme 95 certificate, but it can easily stand on its own, without comparison to "The Celebration", "The Idiots" and "Mifune". Basically it´s a comedy-drama (although one of the Dogme rules prohibits genre definition) telling several interwoven stories connected by the Italian-for-beginners-class. There are a whole variety of characters: the young pastor, the hothead short order cook from the sports restaurant, the clumsy girl from the bakery etc. All very recognizable everyday types, but beautifully realized by its talented cast, with special kudos to Peter Gantzler, cast against type and hilariously underplaying as the nerdish impotent hotel clerk. Lars Kaalund is also very funny, sporting a very authentic sounding Italian.

Director Lone Scherfig has made a very endearing, romantic film that is very universal in its tone, which is probably why it has performed so well at the Berlin film festival. For a feel-good movie experience, you should definitely go see "Italian for beginners".


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