Whether or not you’ve had the chance to see Paolo Virzì’s ‘Il Capitale Umano’, this year’s Italian submission to the Oscars, you’ll get it soon, and in the meantime, you’ll want to read the book by American author Stephen Amidon.
I really enjoyed this book for all the same reasons that I loved the movie version, plus all the subtle ways that Virzì made this very American story an Italian one.
I was so excited to find out that my favorite actor, Luigi Lo Cascio was going to star in Ivano De Matteo’s movie version of Herman Koch’s dark and intense The Dinner. De Matteo’s I Nostri Ragazzi will be distributed in the US but until then, make sure you’ve read the book.
When two brothers, more for appearance sake than anything else, get together with wives that hate each other for a monthly dinner, it’s not fun for anybody but it’s just something one does. The monotony of the family tradition might have continued forever had it not been for something their kids got involved in, something worse than anyone could have expected.
If you loved Nanni Moretti in Caos Calmo, you’ll want to read Sandro Veronesi’s Quiet Chaos in English. When Pietro’s wife dies, she leaves him alone to raise their little girl. It’s really hard to figure out how Pietro is feeling after the funeral; he seems pretty numb and restless and not sure what to do with himself, so he parks himself under his daughter’s classroom window, and he stays there.
Italian author Margaret Mazzantini and her husband, director Sergio Castellitto have been a great team for years, and their very best collaboration stars Castellitto and Penelope Cruz. You really have to see Cruz, as the prostitute Italia, in her best performance ever.
The book, is heartbreakingly brutal and not for the faint of heart, but a really great read.
Fabio Volo has written a lot of fun books that I consider “summer reading; light and entertaining. My favorite is called One More Day, the story of a guy who sees a girl every day on the tram and decides he’ll do anything to get to know her. The movie version, Un Giorno In Più, stars Isabella Ragonese and Volo but the book is even more charming.