Mid-August Lunch DVD
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Directed by Gianni Di Gregorio
Produced in 2008
Main Language - Italian with English subtitles
Alfonso Santagata, Gianni Di Gregorio, Grazia Cesarini Sforza, Maria Cali, Marina Cacciotti, Valeria De Franciscis
Nick Riddle enjoys this warm-hearted film in which a middle-aged bachelor finds himself looking after a group of ill-matched elderly ladies in his tiny flat one August holiday.
This understated film by Di Gregorio, co-writer of 2008’s Gomorrah, makes for a striking contrast with that gritty underworld exposé.
Gianni cares for his stately ninety-something mother in their cramped Roman apartment and is bribed into hosting three more elderly widows over the Italian religious holiday of Ferragosto. As he listens patiently to the complex details of their dietary restrictions and medicine doses, one might be forgiven for expecting some sort of senior-citizen creche comedy, but Di Gregorio has something more interesting in mind.
Tensions build in the summer heat: one of the women locks herself away, the TV becomes a bone of contention, and personality clashes loom, but the long-suffering Gianni handles everything like a seasoned diplomat, and the women begin to bond. The film’s mostly non-professional cast display a beautiful, slightly bewildered grace, in a story that gives us a view of old age filled with joy, dignity and acceptance.
Nick Riddle on 20th October 2009
Author of 77 reviews
A slice of Italian life comedy, in which a middle aged man has to look after four elderly women for a few days. Still living with his ninety year old mother Valeria, Gianni has fallen behind on the rent to landlord Luigi. Eager to leave on holiday, Luigi suggests a deal - he will wipe the slate clean if Gianni can look after his mother Marina for a few days. Gianni reluctantly agrees, but is soon riled when Luigi arrives with his aunt Maria as well. Seeing an opportunity, his friend Marcello soon gets in on the act, dropping off his mother Grazia for a quick break. As Gianni struggles to cater to the needs of the elderly ladies, the diverging views of the four women quickly make his job at hand all the more difficult.
Publisher: Artificial Eye
Length: 75 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 widescreen
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 7th December 2009
Cat No: ART466DVD
- Interviews: Gianni Di Gregorio (Director)
“warm and funny”
by William Smith on 10th May 2011
A wonderful, gentle film which, although not an out and out comedy, nonetheless had me in stitches. If your spirits need a lift then this is money well spent! Read on
A wonderful, gentle film which, although not an out and out comedy, nonetheless had me in stitches. If your spirits need a lift then this is money well spent! Hide