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Review of Giorni e Nuvole

Review of Giorni e Nuvole

Director: Silvio Soldini

Actors: Margherita Buy and Antonio Albanese

Release Date: September 12, 2007 (Italy), July 11, 2008 (USA)

My Score: 7 out of 10

What happens when you discover the financial foundation of your life is crumbling? Giorni e Nuvole (Days and Clouds) explores this in an authentic and moving way.

When Elsa steps on a piece of the lamp she broke the night before, we know something is wrong. While nursing a hangover from the surprise party her husband Michele threw for her, she learns that Michele has been out of work for months and the couple is quickly running out of money.

Elsa feels betrayed and struggles to adjust to the impact of their dwindling finances on her social status and interests. She must quit the restoration of an ancient fresco to work as a telemarketer by day and a secretary for a shipping company at night. Her struggle to adjust to the new role as provider is exhausting and isolating. Meanwhile, Michele falls into a paralyzing depression as he loses his identity as the breadwinner.

Solidini’s film is about what happens to a family when the material trappings and social status are stripped away. Is there enough underneath to endure?

Giorni e Nuvole shows a different side of Italy, one you won’t find on postcards. It is a noisy and grim place, full of people who struggle with the very real problem of “disoccupazione” (unemployment). It also a place of beauty, where frescos from the fifteenth century can be uncovered in a building in the middle of a gritty city.

Giorni e Nuvole is free for Amazon Prime members. You can also rent it by clicking on my affiliate link here: Giorni e Nuvole.  I’ve included the trailer below. If you end up watching it, let me know what you think in the comments. Buona visione!

L’ultimo Bacio (The Last Kiss)

L’ultimo Bacio (The Last Kiss)

“Finalmento libero, non e’ questo quello che hai sempre voluto?”

“Finally free, isn’t that what you always wanted?” Paolo, the protagonist of the movie L’ultimo Bacio (The Last Kiss) asks himself this as he struggles to undo the recent turmoil he has created in his once “perfect” life.  He isn’t alone. His friends Adriano, Alberto, and Paolo all struggle with their own existential crises. Adriano is pushed away from his wife Livia after the birth of their son. Alberto overcompensates for his deadbeat life through his numerous sexual conquests, and Paolo can’t escape the shadow of his former lover or his feeling of responsibility for his dying father. Together they try to find freedom, thinking it will finally bring them the joy they seek. In the process, they learn painful lessons about love, loss, and friendship.

I remember watching this movie in college when I was beginning to develop my interest in Italian. I enjoyed it, but looking back I couldn’t remember if that was due to my growing fascination with the language or the quality of the film itself. I watched it again recently and discovered it is was the latter. The acting is exceptional and supported by a musical score that highlights the tension running through the movie. There are few movies with such emotional rawness. The film grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go. You’ll find yourself simultaneously loving and hating the characters as they struggle to find meaning in their lives.

Zach Braff starred in a remake of L’ultimo Bacio for America audiences, but it isn’t as good as the original. Stick with the Italian version, and you won’t be disappointed.  You can watch it on Netflix or buy the DVD from Amazon here: L’ultimo Bacio.