Dear Luigi Lo Cascio,

this blog, I Love Italian Movies, exists thanks to you, in part, anyway. In 2004 I was in Firenze and trying learn your language so I decided to go to the movies for a little practice. At the local, one screen movie theater near my hotel I bought a ticket for Giuseppe Piccioni’s ‘La Vita Che Vorrei. In the theater that day there was me and a handful of old ladies scattered in the seats for the matinee.

I had been told that Italian movies were pretty bad and nothing good had come out of Italy in years, so I figured that I was going to see a terrible movie that would be fun to mock, if nothing else, and it would be good for my Italian, but about half way through La Vita Che Vorrei I realized something; I loved this movie!

I was completely absorbed in the unusual love story about an insensitive jerk and a woman that’s kind of a whore; was this love that they are feeling for each other or were they just using each other? At the end, when we realized what was going on with “Laura”, the little old ladies and I gasped, looked around at each other, and then giggled. It was my first Italian movie moment.

From that point on I saw every Italian movie I could. I bought region free DVD players and discovered Paolo Sorrentino, Matteo Garrone, Carlo Verdono, and Toni Servillo. But I never forgot you. I’ve seen every movie you’ve ever been in except the ones I haven’t had the chance to yet, like Salvo.

I was at the Venice Film Festival for the premier of La Città Ideale and, though we’ve never met and have no real connection, I was so proud of you. I wish all Americans could know you and your films. I’ve been asked to moderate La Città Ideale at a screening at an Italian cultural center in November; would you like to come and help me talk about it? Magari fosse possibile!

Anyway, happy birthday. Tanti auguri di buon compleanno! Saluti da tutti noi negli Stati Uniti!

Un abbraccio forte forte,

Cheri e tutti i lettori di I Love Italian Movies.

tanti auguri

Watch a Luigi Lo Cascio movie today! These ones are easy to watch in the US.

Luce Dei Miei Occhi (Light of my Eyes) Luigi plays Antonio, a guy who is doing all kind of crazy, dangerous things to help a woman he’s infatuated with, one that has shown no real interest in him. “Sorry, I’m not that excited by you,” she tells him, “but I warned you.”

La Meglio Gioventù (The Best of Youth) Follows the lives of two brothers from the 1960s to the 2000s. This was originally a TV miniseries and it’s and it’s two and a half hours long but worth every minute.

La Bestia Nel Cuore (Don’t Tell)  Nominated for an Academy Award, I think that the reason that this movie has been compared to Lifetime movies is that it just doesn’t look like a typical “foreign film”. The apartments are modern. The lesbians are wisecracking. And part of the movie takes place in Virginia in the US. It would seem like a Hollywood movie if they weren’t speaking Italian. Luigi plays a man who has been sexually abused by his father.

I Cento Passi (The 100 Steps) Luigi plays Peppino Impastato, a young left-wing activist that was killed by the Mafia for speaking out against them in this true life story.

Buongiorno Notte (Good Morning Night) This Marco Bellocchio movie is about the 1978 kidnapping and assassination of Aldo Moro, Italian president of the political party, Democrazia Cristiana.

Mare Nero – (Dark Sea) This detective story is not my favorite but, hey, Luigi’s in it so it’s not all bad.

Miracle at St. Anna – This Spike Lee movie is set in 1944 Italy and is the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.

Salvo (Save it) – Salvo is a dead-cold Mafia hit man who invades a rival gangster’s home to off him and encounters his target’s sister, the attractive but blind Rita. Unwilling to take Rita’s life, Salvo takes her hostage instead, growing ever more fascinated by her.

La Città Ideale (Save it) (The Ideal City) La Citta’ Ideale is a roller coaster ride of anxiety, suspense, and laughter, and with it, Luigi Lo Cascio proves himself not only an amazing actor, but also an amazing director.

Though they aren’t readily available to us in the US, if you can get your hands on La Vita Che Vorrei, Noi Credevamo, or Mio Cognato, you’ll love those too.


 La Città Ideale was the best of Venezia 69!

Check out my review of La Città Ideale

Buy  La Città Ideale from

Luigi Lo Casio and his wife at the Venice Film Festival premier of 'La Città Ideale'.
Luigi Lo Casio and his wife at the Venice Film Festival premier of ‘La Città Ideale’.

I Cento Passi – The Complete Film


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