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Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only outlet from her and the increasing debt into which they are sinking, are the increasingly frequent quiet sessions at the local tavern. As an Oriental saying goes, 'Moments of crisis are moments of opportunities'. These appear during the celebration of the holiday of Ferragosto on 15 August. That's when everybody leaves town to have fun. Opportunity knocks on Gianni's door in the most unexpected way.Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
"Pranzo di ferragosto" is one delightful, insightful, funny and unpretentious little cinematic jewel, whose director, script writer and main actor, Gianni DiGregorio, proves to us that it doesn't take a huge budget, big stars, lots of witty dialogs or 120 minutes to make a masterpiece, and one which goes back to the golden age of the Italian comedy and Italian realism.
The story is very simple: Gianni, a middle-aged Roman who lives with his mother in an old Trastevere apartment, is first kind of "blackmailed" by his landlord to take the the latter's mother at his home for the Italian midsummer holiday. He gets more than he bargained for when the mother is accompanied by an unannounced aunt and when later his doctor also asks him to take his mother, in addition to Gianni's own mamma, of course. Each of the old ladies has her own personality, quirks, preferences, etc. and Gianni will have to do his best to keep them all happy. This will lead to a wholly enjoyable 75-minute ride for the viewer.
One thing that I loved about this movie is that it depicts old age in a respectful, humorous and optimistic light -the old ladies are not at all old in mentality and spirit, and they keep enjoying life to the most, each in her own style. I also enjoyed how the film is full of little sketches of very real everyday situations in which we can all see ourselves -sitting with a friend without needing or having any life-changing conversation, looking out to the city while smoking a cigarette, sitting with your family or people you care for, sharing a dinner, having small talk, the joy of reunion and togetherness and the joy of having a home... those scenes were very heart-moving and very meaningful to me.
My rating is 10/10 for a new instant favorite of mine.
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