Director Silvio Soldini made my favorite movie of all time (not my favorite Italian movie; my favorite movie movie). I’ve watched Pane e Tulipani ( Bread and Tulips ) 100 times and I’m not exaggerating – the number may actually be higher. I’m thinking about calling Soldini to ask him if I can do commentary on a director’s cut – I love this movie and I’ve given it a lot of thought. It’s practically perfect, and not because there are no mistakes, but because there is nothing in it that I’d change.
Here’s a new favorite, Stefano Sollima’s Suburra. I keep making my friends watch it and I watch it with them; I’ve lost track of how many times but I could watch it again right now.
In ancient Rome Suburra was a crowded lower-class area and a notorious red-light district near the Esquiline Hills but for the purposes of this film, it’s a symbol of purported crime, dirty politics, a not-so-holy Vatican in modern Rome. This one’s surely going to put those who are tired of films focusing on organized crime and Italy’s seedier side over the edge, but for those of us who love a thrilling, grisly crime story, we’re in luck.
La Vita Che Vorrei is the second movie that pairs up Luigi Lo Cascio and Sandra Ceccarelli; the first, Luce Dei Miei Occhi is more available in the US and is also very good. I’ve asked myself a million times – what does it have that La Vita Che Vorrei doesn’t? Why has La Vita Che Vorrei been ignored?
La Vita Che Vorrei is more romantic in some ways and less in others. It’s couple, Stefano and Laura are super flawed – if you knew them in real life you might hate them, but I didn’t. I liked them because the mistakes they make are not all that unlike the ones that I do and I feel a true empathy watching them struggling with their weaknesses and trying to be better people.
Written by and starring the comedy trio of Aldo Baglio, Giovanni Storti, and Giacomo Poretti, it’s the story of three guys that share a love for Claudia, played by the adorable Paola Cortellesi who almost steals the show (not the easiest thing with those three).
Beginning with Claudia’s voiceover searching to explain why she married Giovanni (Storti) in the first place, she appears to be reading our minds. I mean, look at them, wearing the surprise that Giovanni has brought home for his wife “The Relaxomatic. What’s wrong with this picture?
One of my favorite rom-cos of all time stars Riccardo Scamarcio, Francesca Inaudi, Gabriella Pession, and Giampaolo Morelli. It’s a stupid plot in the way that plots are stupid in many comedies but it’s got a lot that rings true. Maria was that girlfriend in high school that everyone had – the one all the boys liked, and no guy you liked was safe around her. She’s the one that no matter where you went, how great you looked, or how much the guy seemed into you in Algebra class – he’d be making out with her by the end of the night. But Maria and Lucia had been best friends since childhood and really did love each other. They just had the one problem – Maria got engaged to the only man that Lucia ever loved.