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Mio fratello è figlio unico (2007)

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Two brothers come of age in a small Italian town in the '60s and '70s.

Director:

Daniele Luchetti

Writers:

Antonio Pennacchi (novel), Daniele Luchetti (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
19 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elio Germano ... Accio Benassi
Riccardo Scamarcio ... Manrico Benassi
Angela Finocchiaro ... Amelia Benassi
Massimo Popolizio ... Ettore Benassi
Ascanio Celestini Ascanio Celestini ... Padre Cavalli
Diane Fleri ... Francesca
Alba Rohrwacher ... Violetta Benassi
Vittorio Emanuele Propizio Vittorio Emanuele Propizio ... Accio adolescent
Claudio Botosso Claudio Botosso ... Prof. Montagna
Antonino Bruschetta ... Segretario Bombacci (as Ninni Bruschetta)
Anna Bonaiuto ... Bella Nastri
Luca Zingaretti ... Mario Nastri
Pasquale Sammarco Pasquale Sammarco ... Padre Tosi
Lorenzo Pagani Lorenzo Pagani ... Bertini
Matteo Sacchi Matteo Sacchi ... Ragazzo Biliardino
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Storyline

Two brothers come of age in the 1960s in a town south of Rome. Manrico is handsome, sometimes feckless, a leftist making the revolution. His younger brother Accio ("Bully") is a seminarian when the story beings, soon home studying Latin and joining the Fascists. Francesca, an aristocratic student, becomes Manrico's lover and Accio's friend. Over the next ten years, these three experience family, love, attraction, politics, and the challenges of adult responsibility. Subplots include Nastri, a father figure and political guide to Accio, Nastri's wife Bella who guides Accio in other ways, and the brothers' parents and sister, who are dazzled by Manrico's charm while depending on Accio. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

20 April 2007 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Mon frère est fils unique See more »

Filming Locations:

Latina, Lazio, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,357, 30 March 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$251,004, 20 July 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniele Luchetti: Silent priest. See more »

Soundtracks

Riderà
Performed by [m0514510]
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User Reviews

 
Growing up with bro is hard to do
22 June 2008 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Good Italian movies are few and far between – the last I saw was Zefferelli's "Tea with Mussolini", and before that, "Life Is Beautiful". It seems that Italian movies, good or bad, are rare. If the list in Wikipedia is anything to go by, Italy produces about ten to fifteen features a year, far less than Australia.

This one is about growing up in a post-Mussolini, post-war world as a working class Italian. The narrator, Accio (Elio Germano), bright but temperamental, is not the most pleasant of people (his name means bully). At 13 he is sent off to a seminary by his long-suffering and pious parents but even though it's a fairly humane regime he doesn't last long. So it's back to the family's tiny, crumbling flat to grow up with his older brother, Manrico (Riccardo Scarmarcio). Rejecting religion, Accio comes into the orbit of the local fascists, though he is more interested in action than ideology. The handsome, charming Manrico becomes a communist, and beds Francesca (Diane Fleri), an attractive middle class girl who has joined the comrades. Naturally Accio gets interested in Francesca as well.

The story covers the period 1962 to 1968 and plenty of reference is made to the turmoil of the times, but basically it is about a textbook case of sibling rivalry. Acco and Manrico cannot keep their hands off each other – in order to fight, that is. Acco however does manage to reach some sort of maturity at the end.

The story moves along at a good pace and there are plenty of funny scenes. The best one is the occupation by the communist students during the 1968 disturbances of the Rome conservatory where they perform Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" with the words changed to communist slogans, and are then invaded by the fascists crying "Don't mess with Beethoven" (actually the original words were from a poem by Schiller). The switch of actors (Vittorio Propizio plays the younger Accio) is accomplished in a particularly neat fashion, using a method I last saw used in "Conan the Barbarian" where the older actor is substituted in mid-scene.

In the background is Mussolini's legacy, an angry, confused and humiliated nation without a clear sense of direction. His 1930's "new towns" like Latina on the Pontine marches, jerry-built and badly designed, were crumbling already by the 1960s. Replacement housing had been built but corrupt local officials were holding up its allocation. There is a very satisfying moment at the end of the film when Accio, no stranger to causing a ruckus, takes remedial action.

Not being Italian I probably missed a lot, but the film held my attention for its full length, despite Accio not being a particularly nice lad (then neither was Genghis Khan and he had an interesting life). The film is bright, fresh and fast-moving though I'm not sure about the climax, which is rather on the melodramatic side. If the Italians can bring themselves to make more movies of this quality, I'll come along to watch.


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