Caterina gives us an opportunity to feel and a chance to hope. A young girl both naive and somehow mature, she is unsure of what she wants in life. Her task is learning to navigate the waters of a high school in Rome where she is the new girl from the sticks when her father is transfered from a small town on the coast. He fulfills his dream of returning to the cultural mecca of the capital where he hopes to take his "rightful" place among the intelligentsia. But the film turns on just this point"rightful place". There are no simple answers, though we do have an opportunity to see how complex it is to find one's place, rightful or not, in the world. Caterina is something of a metaphor for the Italian populace at large, I would think. But she is more than this. There is something about her story that touched me, several decades and half a world away from the world she inhabits, a world stratified by cliques and patronage, prejudice and injustice...a world very much like the one I live in and the one I imagine most of us live in. Caterinaas the film that bears her namedoes not take the easy way out in running away or self-repression or living a life of quiet desperation, even when her sheltered provincial upbringing and less-than-ideal family situation do not give her any clues on how to deal with her new life and classmates from prominent families. She tries to adjust to the fast-pace and superficiality of life in the Italian capital, and much of the fun of the movie is seeing her in the various situations she encounters along the way. Her father is great as the frustrated writer with no talent and a loud voice, a self-important boor. My heart goes out to all the Caterinas of the world, who go forward with optimism and pure heart even when they know the odds are against them.