6.9/10
2,674
3 user 28 critic

Tutta la vita davanti (2008)

A brilliant recent graduate struggles to find work. After falling into a babysitting job, she is introduced by the child's mother to the world of the international call center, its employees, and the fast pace that drives them.

Director:

Paolo Virzì

Writers:

Francesco Bruni (screenplay), Paolo Virzì (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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18 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabella Ragonese ... Marta
Massimo Ghini ... Claudio
Valerio Mastandrea ... Giorgio Conforti
Micaela Ramazzotti ... Sonia
Elio Germano ... Lucio 2
Sabrina Ferilli ... Daniela
Laura Morante ... Voce narrante (voice)
Giulia Salerno ... Lara
Edoardo Gabbriellini ... Roberto
Valentina Carnelutti ... Maria Chiara
Caterina Guzzanti ... Fabiana
Elena Arvigo ... Moglie di Giorgio Conforti
Paola Tiziana Cruciani Paola Tiziana Cruciani ... Madre di Sonia
Raffaele Vannoli ... Assistente Claudio (as Lele Vannoli)
Mary Cipolla Mary Cipolla ... Madre di Marta
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Storyline

The vicissitudes of a newly graduated girl in the universe of the precarious work. Marta is a well- educated girl; she is curious and silent one, which finds work in the call center of a company that sells a futuristic appliance. So she finds out a new fantastic world formed by young telephone operator and fanatic seller, corporate jingle, motivational dance, prize giving, ovation and penance. A bittersweet picture of modern society narrated through the eyes of a funny young philosopher Written by Chiara Foglia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

28 March 2008 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A Whole Life Ahead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR5,440,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,788,176
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Daniela: You're a very special girl, and your job is very special.
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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: A Whole Life Ahead
5 June 2009 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Here's the pragmatic approach that parents tell their children here - study the sciences because that will provide you a job. For Marta (Isabella Ragonese), even a top degree with honours in Philosophy fails to land her a permanent job, drawing some sharp contrast against peers who have dropped out of college, but steadily climbing the career ladder. The film has intent to examine the plight of permanent-temporary workers, you know, those who are under temporary contracts, but have to perform tasks and take on responsibilities just as how a regular staff would, but minus the staff perks.

I suppose companies take this approach with an eye wary on their bottom line, and sees this staffing strategy as something that's cost effective, virtually eliminating benefits from the payroll. The film might have been effective, with the introduction of unionist Giorgio (Valeno Mastandrea) who tries to understand the plight and conditions in the fictitious company Multiple (manufacturing who knows what product), but somehow lost its mission objectives midway because of a complication in matters of the heart, thereby relegating its own subplot.

This film is about the surreal journey of Marta as she tries her best to seek out a job, believing that her academic qualifications would open door. Contrary to her beliefs of course, Fate comes into play to introduce her to a single mom Sonia (Micaela Romazzotti) who works as a tele-marketer for Multiple, and recruits her into this really strange company with a very wide male-female division of the sexes, and feel-good ra-ra practices such as singing motivational songs at the start of each shift, and the receiving of cosmetic, encouraging SMSes in the morning everyday.

In other words, they operate much like a cult group, where performers get rewarded with dubious prizes, and laggards in the company get shipped out unceremoniously, with little dignity. Such is the sweat shop that Marta finds herself in, if not for her intellectual ability in internalizing the process in double quick time, and innovating in her job so as to perform with moderate inputs. For those who have worked in companies, or amongst peers who require you to jump, sing, shout, dance out loud in celebration of your employment or to serve as a mental prep booster before you commence each day, this film would definitely ring a bell.

And while the narrative might seem all over the place, it is precisely how director Paolo Virzi coaxes a coherent and at times zany story out of the multiple events, and myriad of characters. There's Daniela (Sabrina Ferilli) the floor supervisor who's a control freak, and harbours the hots for CEO Claudio (Massimo Ghini) who on the surface is the typical all- caring boss with a finger on the company's pulse. Then there's the romantic knot that Marta inadvertently gets herself into, and fellow sales partner Lucio 2 (Elio Germano) who preps himself almost all the time to think that he's the best of the best.

Throw in plenty of song and dance, self-reflection moments, gratuitous sex and nudity, changing relationships, and you have a film that tries too hard to cover a wide spectrum of ideas, but end up missing the bullseye more often than not. The film has its moments, but nothing too memorable besides those song and dance numbers that make the Beach Boys and some folk songs hip again.


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