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Film Details

Directed by: Gianni Di Gregorio

Produced: 2011

Countries & Regions: Italy

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 5 December 2011

Cat No: ART566DVD

Extras:
Languages(s): Italian
Subtitles: English
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Salt of Life

Cast: Valeria Cavalli , Gianni Di Gregorio , Valeria De Franciscis , Alfonso Santagata , Elisabetta Piccolomini , Aylin Prandi , Kristina Cepraga , Michelangelo Ciminale , Teresa Di Gregorio , Lilia Silvi , Gabriella Sborgi , Laura Squizzato

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Gianni Di Gregorio writes, directs and stars in this bittersweet Italian comedy about the trials and tribulations of growing older. As in... Read More

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Gianni Di Gregorio writes, directs and stars in this bittersweet Italian comedy about the trials and tribulations of growing older. As in his 2008 debut, ’Mid August Lunch’, Di Gregorio plays an alter ego version of himself. Gianni (Di Gregorio) is a 60-something pensioner who lives with his wife (Elisabetta Piccolomini), with whom he has not shared a bed for years, and his daughter (Teresa Di Gregorio), a college student who views him with pity and a touch of scorn. Still at the beck and call of his demanding nonagenarian mother (Valeria de Franciscis), and placing far too much importance on an ongoing but trivial flirtation he shares with his pretty young neighbour (Aylin Prandi), Gianni realises as he passes into his twilight years that - for better or worse - his relationships with women have always dominated his life.

Di Gregorio’s dazzling debut Mid-August Lunch charmed the critics and was a sleeper success but the question was, could his next film measure up? Rest assured it does and perhaps it’s no surprise since Di Gregorio is no ordinary director: it took the tenacious 62-year-old Roman eight years to realise Mid-August Lunch after a lifetime treading the Italian boards.

Salt of Life returns him centre stage to Rome’s colourful Trastevere quarter in another taut comedy of family manners. Again he plays a put-upon character called Gianni contending with his extravagant mother (the 95-year-old Valeria De Franciscis, upstaging her unforgettable performance in Mid-August Lunch). This time round he’s also living with a disapproving wife and daughter and, egged on by family lawyer (Alfonso Santagata), he spends most of the film in a desperate late middle-aged search for romance.

Never more than hair’s breadth from hilarious, Di Gregorio’s masterful performance – reminiscent of Jacques Tati and Nanni Moretti – is aided by deft cinematographer Gogò Bianchi (filming in tiny interiors) and a wry soundtrack conjured up by Ratchev and Carratello.

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