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Garibaldi's Lovers [Import]

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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
This is the latest from director Silvio Soldini who also brought us the rather good ‘Come Undone’. It is an unusual mix of ideas that somehow works. We meet widower and plumber Leo who is struggling with his teenage children, his son Elia and feisty daughter, Maddalena. He is partially helped in this by the ghost of his dead wife – whom only he can see.

His path crosses with that of a nasty, corrupt lawyer Malaffano – played brilliantly by Luca Zingaretti (‘Inspector Montalbano’ and ‘Cefalonia’) who has employed a broke and struggling artist – Diana to paint a mural in his office. Leo sort of falls for her. Meanwhile his son has met an older man who he sort of befriends – Elia also has a relationship with a stork which he is prepared to steal food for. Add to the mix the Garibadi in the title in the form of a statue that adds a running commentary to the proceedings as well as entering into political discourse with other statues and you have a very unusual film indeed.

This is a commentary on modern life and can be seen as satirical and critical in part. It is also a story about how people interact and what we are capable of – both very good deeds and very dark ones. It is, as I have mentioned unusual, but it is also very entertaining, very well made – all the acting is superb and it has a stylish Élan which I love with Italian cinema. It is in Italian with a smattering of a few other languages thrown in and has very good subtitles. I received a review copy from Film Movement and as ever this presentation comes with a bonus short film called ‘The Kiosk’ a rather sweet little film. This is both funny and touching and is one of those films that you will get more from on a subsequent viewing – I can absolutely recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Bittersweet Song for Lost Italy Feb. 15 2014
By Richard S. Warner TOP 50 REVIEWER
Director Silvio Soldini's wonderful film, "Garibaldi's Lovers", distributed by New York's Film Movement, is one of those, small European films that is such a breath of fresh, very human, air in our Hollywood dominated culture, with it's status quo moralizing and insidious conditioning. Yet, "Garibaldi's Lovers" is not without its ideals, either. Soldini has done a perfectly tasteful job of his jerermiad on the loss of the heart and soul of his beloved Italy. But instead of coming from some large, corporate mindset, this is a very personal film about ideals, purpose and human values.

The film begins with wide pans of an unspecified Italian city. ( Florence? Milan? ) Contrasted against modern buildings and structures are several statues of historical figures, Garibaldi, of the the great founders of modern Italy, being one of them. The images set up the philosophical underpinning of the film. We finally come to stop at the statue of Garibaldi as he observes a group of women physically fighting over a parking spot and a youth vandalizing a wooden public bench with his lighter ... and no one seems to care or even notice. Garibaldi's voice moans and is saddened by what he sees, a formerly great country, once one of the foundational pillars of Western culture, reduced to banal and insipid infighting, corruption and a total loss of ethics or a moral centre. He wonders if it had been better if "we had stuck with the Austrians", to his disappointment.

Having established the theme of the film, Solini 'comes down' from Garibaldi's lofty perch and begins a delightful story comprised of the lives of few people that will eventually cross and intersect.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A busy film Jan. 25 2014
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
3.5/5

Garibaldi's Lovers is from Italian director Silvio Soldini. As with all Film Movement releases, it is an official selection or winner at multiple film festivals.

Soldini opens the film with a series of statues in an unnamed Italian park conversing on the current state of things. (One of them is Garabaldi - I stopped to go look this up - he considered to be one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland".)

From Soldini's liner notes:

"...the idea of giving a voice to the statues that have been in our streets and parks for centuries. While we may not even know who they are or what they represent, perhaps they might have something to say to us with respect to where our country is headed."

These statues are given the stage many times to share their thoughts and bicker amongst themselves.

We meet Diana, an artist (Alba Rohrwacher) who is behind on her rent and is desperately trying to collect money owed to her. Leo (Valerio Mastandrea) is a widowed plumber trying to raise his two children - Elia and Maddalena.

Garibaldi's Lovers is a busy film. There are many players and plot lines - Amanzio (Giuseppe Battiston) , an oddball landlord determined to educate the public, Elia's fascination with a stork, Maddlena's fascination with boys, a crooked lawyer, the plumber's assistant whose wife is sure he is cheating and Leo's dead wife (although it took me a scene or two to realize she was dead) Each of these characters is used as a vehicle for social commentary. Soldini manages to serendipitously weave them all the various plot lines together by the end. (although there a few loose ends).

Soldini provides a light touch in addition to the social commentary through whimsical touches and almost slapstick situations.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Film Jan. 11 2014
By Daniel G. Lebryk - Published on Amazon.com
Garibaldi's Lovers is Silvio Soldini's most approachable lighthearted film. This is a fabulous gentle love story that evolves gradually.

It is really hard to write about this film without spoiling the beauty and surprise of what happens. Seemingly random events bring two people together. Along the way we meet a variety of incredibly interesting and unusual people. Soldini has a love for the working class person, although they marginally eek by a living, they are the aristocracy. He uses an interesting device cutting back to images from the viewpoint of statues around Milan. While we watch, there is voice over narration of what that statue is thinking or would say. He uses small details in each scene to move the main story along. It is a wonderful technique. He explores the effect the city has on people that live there.

This is not a sappy love story; it is one where the two people have to work to meet. Neither is encumbered with other commitments (his previous films have strong themes of infidelity), so we can feel good about wanting them to be together. The film is full of quirky intriguing characters. Elia the son asks, "Do you think birds know that we don't know how to fly, or do they think we don't want to?"

The camera work is excellent. Pacing is perfect. The views of Milan are stunning. The film moves along quickly and feels the right length at an hour and fifty minutes. The film is presented in Italian with English subtitles.

Soldini has directed and written a number of movies, several released by Film Movement. Come Undone is one of his darker, more memorable films that twists the love story around in an unpredictable way. Bread and Tulips is a kind beautiful film. Days and Clouds is a good film that wanders around a bit too much. Soldini has a way of looking at a story that is unique.

The film is not rated. In the United States it would grab an R rating for language and a frank discussion about oral sex. There is no nudity or violence in the film. In Italy, I'm confident this film was for general audiences. There is some nudity in one of the trailers on the DVD - so if you are going to watch this with a younger viewer, maybe skip the trailers.

This is a Film Movement release on DVD, meaning there is a bonus short film. This one is 100% a winner. Kiosk looks like Diana the struggling artist in Garibaldi's Lover could have made this film. Kiosk isn't in a particular language, the noises made sound like made up grunting and groaning. And yet the film speaks so loudly. I loved this short film. Be warned, there is a brief view of a drawing of a naked woman on the cover of an adult magazine (in the event younger viewers watch this film).

Film Movement finds the unusual, the different, and the small film that may never see the light of day. They have found an incredible series with Soldini - this is his fourth film published by Film Movement. They are all well worth watching.

I was provided a review sample.

Come Undone
Bread and Tulips
Days and Clouds
Agata and the Storm
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dreams are meant to be lived.' Dec 25 2013
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Silvio Soldini (Bread and Tulips, Days and Clouds, Come Undone) has done it again - made a film that restores faith in the little man and the little woman in their plights to race for dreams. Writing with Doriana Leondeff and Marco Pettenello he has give us a story the bubbles like Asti Spumante and while being hilariously funny it brims over with genuine sentiment.

The title comes from Soldini's focus on the statue of Garibaldi in the central square of Genoa, Italy - a statue whose voice (courtesy of Pierfrancesco Favino) commiserates with the statue of Cazzaniga (voiced by Gigio Alberti) about the sad state of affairs and corruption in Italy and the discussion is played out by the antics of the people of the streets below them. Leo (Valerio Mastancrea) is a widowed plumber (his deceased wife Teresa - Claudia Gerini - appears to him as a 3-dimensional ghost who misses her family and urges Leo to find a new woman) who struggles to support his two children - Maddalena (Serena Pintucci), who is horrified when she discovers that her boyfriend has videotaped her en flagrante and placed it on the internet, and her younger brother, nerdy Elia who spends his time feeding and talking to a stork named Agostina. Concurrently we meet shady lawyers Malaffano (Luca Zingaretti) who cheat honest people, a `landlord' Amanzio (Giuseppe Battiston who illegally demands rent, especially from a starving artist Diana (Alba Rohrwacher) who in turn agrees to paint a mural for Malaffano and there meets Leo who is agreeing to `do a deal' for the lawyer by providing a signature on an illegal house purchase in order to make enough money to defend his daughter's case against the boy who placed the sex tape on the internet. To top it off Amanzio becomes friends with Elia and when Elia's stork Agostina goes missing, agrees to drive Elia to Switzerland to find her. Meanwhile Leo and Diana have bonded, Diana has a new boyfriend Emiliano (Michele Maganza) who turns out to be spying, and everything spins to a peculiar but satisfying end.

Soldini's little stories make significant comments on the problems of life at the present time - not only with people but with the corruption of the cities. He peppers his script with many quotations from famous people of history, a factor that adds a dimension of dignity to this wonderful bit of charming lighthearted comedy. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, December 13
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an entertaining slice of italian cinema… Feb. 2 2014
By trebe - Published on Amazon.com
The focus of Silvio Soldini’s flim Garibaldi’s Lovers is spread quite widely, as the story set in Italy, follows an assortment of interesting characters, through events in their everyday lives.

Initially it seems that Diana (Alba Rohrwacher), a struggling artist, will be the central figure, but matters soon expand to include Leo (Valerio Mastandrea) a plumber, and his son Elia (Luca Dirodi), daughter Maddalena (Serena Pintucci), and the ghost of his dead wife Teresa (Claudia Gerini). Also involved is Diana’s oddball landlord Amanzio (Giuseppe Battiston), a slick lawyer named Malaffano (Luca Zingaretti), a stork named Agostina, and a statue of Italian soldier and statesman Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), who
provides commentary about events of the day.

The narrative flows along with a light breezy tone, with events mostly related to the activities of the shady Malaffano. These include the painting of a mural, the purchase of a house, the removal of an embarrassing video, and a new romance for Maddalena. Things never get too heavy or dramatic, as the film concludes with Leo’s frantic search for his son.

The movie is well shot, and features some interesting cinematography, including a hyped-up bike ride through the city. The acting performances are very enjoyable. Alba Rohrwasher is particularly delightful, but unfortunately isn’t featured more. While Garibaldi’s Lovers can certainly be appreciated by those with no knowledge of Italian life or history, perhaps those with some insight into the culture, might better appreciate the nuances and messages in the film.

As usual, this Film Movement release also includes a short. “The Kiosk” is an amusing animated feature, about the operator of a kiosk, who dreams of a more exciting life.

A copy of the movie was provided for review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Humorous Warm Film From Italy Jan. 25 2014
By Martin A Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Director Silvio Soldini produces a film of magic, wishes and human nature. The films begin in the central square of a modern city in Italy where statues of famous past heroes (Garibaldi being one) speak to each other about the sad condition of the modern world. It's a magical fun motif throughout the film.

Leo is a plumber who is recently widowed and has two teenage children (son Elia, who befriends a stork and a rambunctious, Maddalena) who keep him busy as a father - both parentally and monetarily. Leo's spirit-wife unexpectedly appears to help Leo through difficult periods. Diana is a starving artist who is badly treated by her landlord who is involved with crooked attorneys who are scheming to make money on illegal real estate plans. It is there that the heroines Leo and Diana meet; him doing a deal for the attorney and her painting a mural for the office. Other characters include a hired `spy' that infiltrates Leo and Diana's life and an older, cynical man who befriends Elia.

The film is a constant mix of humor, absurdity, love, commitment and a constantly twisting plot. The scenes with the statues that seemingly speak to each other tell the viewer that although this is a real life story with consequences, it is told with great warmth and humor. Leo's relationship with Diana is brilliant, but the ending with Leo's spirit-wife will leave you smiling.

Also on this DVD is a humorous short film called, "The Kiosk". It's a European `South Park' basic style of a cartoon about a woman who works in a magazine kiosk and eats. She eats so much that she ends up getting stuck in the kiosk. She lives and moves about town in that little kiosk. It views like a child's storybook. It's slightly humorous, if you can get over how some might find obesity not a funny matter.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patience will be rewarded with a sweet, touching and funny film... Jan. 21 2014
By 35-year Technology Consumer - Published on Amazon.com
Take an overworked widower plumber, his two detached yet devoted teenage kids, a starving artist, her work-averse tenant and his broke starving artist tenant. Add a scamming lawyer, a Chinese-Italian guy whose wife is convinced he's having an affair (even though he his not), a wayward stork, a viral video and the ghost of the plumber's wife. Season with Milanese statues of famous Italians commenting on each others' foibles as they decry the state of modern culture.

This is a strange mix that starts slowly, but melds together in a finely woven tale that is variously funny, sweet and sad. To say anything else would spoil a marvelous movie that will leave you feeling better than any formulaic romcom that Hollywood can dish.

If you want an excellent change of pace pace with intriguing characters and an ambitious storyline and surprising outcomes, watch this movie.

Finally, be on the lookout for the clocks that show it's 4:02!

Film Movement provided this DVD for review purposes.
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