This past summer I asked young people in Italy why they preferred movies from the United States and I got a pretty obvious answer from them all: The special effects.
There’s no money for special effects in Italian movies and if you are looking for the Italian equivalent to Transformers, you are out of luck, however, follow these links and you’ll find that there are many Italian alternatives to American movies that you love.
If you liked psychological thrillers like Memento and The Machinist, try La Doppia Ora (The Double Hour). A mystery with a fear factor, it stars Kseniya Rappoport and Filippo Timi who play two lonely hearts that meet speed dating. You can rent it or watch it instantly with Netflix and, of course, there are English subtitles.
If you liked The Wedding Banquet, Ang Lee‘s story about a gay man’s sham wedding gone wrong, you’ll love Ferzan Ozpetek’s coming out story, Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) and his Saturn in Opposition, (Saturno Contro). Saturn in Opposition is an ensemble movie with a great cast including Stefano Accorsi, Margherita Buy, and Pierfrancesco Favino and is about a group of friends, gay and straight, who find themselves needing to evaluate their lives. It’s available from Netflix with subtitles.
Did you like Kathy Bates and Mary-Louise Parker in Fried Green Tomatoes? Then wait until you see Rosalba taking charge of her life in Pane e Tulipani, Bread and Tulips. Licia Maglietta and Bruno Ganza get a second chance to live life the way they’d imagined it could be. You can watch Bread and Tulips instantly on itunes, Amazon, and Netflix.
If you enjoy comedies about the Catholic Church like Sister Act, try the funnier (and still respectful) We Have a Pope (Habemus Papam) written, directed by, and starring Nanni Moretti. When the new Pope has an identity crisis, a psychologist is called in to help. The Church wanted to hate this movie but there’s really nothing to find fault with. It’s a very thoughtful, considerate, and funny movie about finding our purpose in life, pontiff or not.
Did you enjoy Zak Braff and Rachel Bilson in The Last Kiss? Probably not, it blew, but if you want to watch the original and better version, with the same name, L’Ultimo Bacio (the last kiss) with Stefano Accorsi and Giovanna Mezzogiorno. When a guy’s fiance gets pregnant, she’s “contentissima” (so very happy), but he panics and looks for one last fling.
Start watching – more tomorrow!