Monday, January 30, 2006

The Best of Youth

La Meglio Gioventù
2003 (US Release: 2005)
Rai CinemaFiction
Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
Length: 360 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 29 January

Yes, the film is six hours long. This will probably deter you from watching the film, but it would be silly to let this happen. After all, most people watch twice that in shitty TV shows every week. Those who give this film a chance will get to the end of the six hours and still want more. Tight, focused and economical even at six hours, the story of two Italian brothers living through a tough era of Italian political turmoil, 1966-2003 is completely engrossing and the six hours fly by faster than standard megaplex dreck (King Kong is half the length of The Best of Youth but feels five times as long). The beauty of the film comes in a bright yet realistic optimism that perseveres through death, separation and a country engaged in an battle of ideologies. Tenderly acted, gorgeously photographed, tightly edited, Giordana's film is easily one of the best films of 2005, and Nicola and Mirella's walk near Carlo's estate near the end of the film is one of the most romantic and touching scenes I've seen in years. Do yourself a favor and give this film a chance.


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