Tag Archives: italian movies

Casanova 70…A Silly Plot but Still Entertaining

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In my quest to watch Italian movies, I found Casanova 70 on Netflix and decided to watch it. Released in 1965 and directed by the famous Carlo Ponti, it seemed like a good choice. It starred Marcello Mastroianni as a NATO officer who had a particular problem when it came to romance – he was unable to perform in bed unless he was put in a dangerous situation! This resulted in many adventures which got him into heaps of trouble. Yes, the plot is pretty stupid but the film was, nevertheless, quite entertaining especially because it was filmed on location in various parts of Italy. From running over the rooftops of trulli in Puglia, to seeing the grandeur of the fancy Italian auction houses where priceless treasures are sold to the aristocracy, made the movie watch-worthy! Marcello’s handsomeness, as well as the beauty and fashion of his female “playmates”, put 60’s glamour on full view in this film! For a lighthearted romantic comedy with some great Italian vistas, I would recommend this movie! It’s fun to watch and will put a smile on your face.

La Prima Cosa Bella…A Movie Review

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La prima cosa bella

che ho avuto dalla vita

e il tuo sorriso giovane…

The first beautiful thing

that I’ve had in life

is your young smile…

Last night, the Italian club in San Jose treated us to a special filming of the 2010 hit movie La Prima Cosa Bella, directed and produced by Paolo Virzi.  This film has not been released in the USA yet, therefore it was extra special to be able to see it.  The movie was a candidate for an Academy Award for best foreign film, but sadly, didn’t make it to the finals.  Irregardless, it was a great movie – both a poignant drama and a light comedy.

The story is of a young mother who, in 1971, won the contest for Miss Mamma Estate (Miss Summer Mother) at a beach resort.  She had two beautiful children, but winning this contest brought out a jealous rage in her husband.  The marriage began to fall apart, leading to an eventual separation and divorce.  Through it all, Anna did everything to try to create a normal and happy life for her children.  Despite tears and rejection in her adult life, she always put on a happy face for her children – leading them in song and carrying on with frivolity and fantasy.

The movie jumps between the past and the present where her children are all grown up and she is living her final days.  Even though she is in her final moments of life, she still finds the joy of life and laughs and sings with them.  Throughout the movie, the flashbacks help us to understand her life as well as the development of her children and why they have become the adults that they are.  Her final words to her children moved me to tears when she said to them….”Abbiamo avuto una bella vita insieme, bimbi miei” (we’ve had a beautiful life together, my children).

The movie stars Micaela Ramazzotti as the young Anna and Stefania Sandrelli as the older Anna, Valerio Mastandrea as Bruno (her adult son), Claudia Pandolfi as Valeria (her adult daughter) among others.  It won numerous awards and accolations, among them  David di Donatello and Nastri d’argento.

When and if this movie becomes available in the USA, I can highly recommend it!