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The Solitude of Prime Numbers (2010)

La solitudine dei numeri primi (original title)
Non-linearly follows two kids, rejected by their peers, who become friends. They separate later in life and dedicate to their careers. Still, they feel as if something is missing.


Saverio Costanzo


Paolo Giordano (story and screenplay), Saverio Costanzo (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Alba Rohrwacher ... Alice Della Rocca adulta
Luca Marinelli ... Mattia Balossino adulto
Arianna Nastro Arianna Nastro ... Alice adolescente
Vittorio Lomartire Vittorio Lomartire ... Mattia adolescente
Martina Albano Martina Albano ... Alice bambina
Tommaso Maria Neri Tommaso Maria Neri ... Mattia bambino (as Tommaso Neri)
Isabella Rossellini ... Adele
Roberto Sbaratto Roberto Sbaratto ... Pietro Balossino
Maurizio Donadoni Maurizio Donadoni ... Umberto Della Rocca
Giorgia Senesi Giorgia Senesi ... Elena
Aurora Ruffino ... Viola Bai
Giorgia Pizzo Giorgia Pizzo ... Michela bambina
Filippo Timi ... Clown
Andrea Jublin Andrea Jublin ... Fabio
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Giulia Balsamo Giulia Balsamo ... Ginevra


Alice and Mattia, two exceptional personalities but inadequate, synthesis of two lives in pain, two special people who travel on the same track, but are two worlds imploded, unable to open up to the world. One fully understands the feelings of the other, but is never able to express them out loud, in short, they are two prime numbers. Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and themselves. Written by AnonymousB

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Italy | Germany | France


Italian | German | English

Release Date:

10 September 2010 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A Solidão dos Números Primos See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in To Rome with Love (2012) See more »


Bette Davis Eyes
Written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon
Performed by Kim Carnes
See more »

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User Reviews

In which we can, perhaps, recognize part of our solitary selves as we progress in life.
1 May 2016 | by RJBurke1942See all my reviews

The title of this movie was my prime stimulus to watch it: not only to deconstruct the meaning but also because a movie about math - apparently - might provide a unique filmic experience, I thought. Well ... I'm correct about the first, but not the second.

Happily for viewers, it's not all about math. But the story is about a young man who is, at an early age, recognized as a math genius. We follow him, Mattia (Luca Marinelli) and his childhood companion, Alice (Alba Rohrwacher), as they both grow up, through their teen years and on to adulthood. Both are introverted to the point of almost total withdrawal; both indulge in aberrant behaviors; both experience intense personal and psychic pain early in life which heightens their isolation; but, also, both recognize each other for what they are - primal individuals unable to communicate according to society's dictates.

For the next twenty plus years, they each try to establish a lasting relationship with each other. During the course of that time, they briefly meet, in person, perhaps on five or six occasions; at the end of the story, Alice sends a short, urgent letter, to which Mattia responds in person. At all other times, we see their lives unfold individually as they each grapple with the many obnoxious (or helpful) people who intrude upon their solitary existences.

Some viewers might find the plot too slow; indeed, a few sets and scenes do include long static shots, particularly facial close-ups. What's more annoying, though, is the elliptical structure of the story as it cuts between three different time periods; which I'm sure will tend to confuse some or even many viewers. Having read the novel - brilliant writing which worked exceedingly well as a linear narrative - I'm still puzzled why the director decided upon disjointed flashbacks. Visually, it doesn't work well at all; frankly, it lessens the dramatic tension, especially when compared with the novel.

My overarching criticism, however, concerns the ending, the resolution to Mattia's and Alice's solitary anguish. In the novel, it ends realistically and appropriately, I thought. This movie's end is, unfortunately, hopelessly Hollywood.

The production is competent, although I think the music is too loud at times. The cast and acting are fine. In view of my above comments, though, my recommendation is: read the novel, forget the movie. Give it 5 out of 10, barely.

May 2nd, 2016

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