Best Of Youth, The (2003)‏

 

Yep, she's young
Yep, she's young

Genre: Romance Drama (Italy)

 

Starring: Luigi Lo Cascio (Don't Tell The Best Day of My Life), Alessio Boni (The Tourist Sanguepazzo)

Directed By: Marco Tullio Giordana (Pasolini, un delitto italiano One Hundred Steps)

Overview: This is the tale of two Italian brothers through 40 years of their lives, loves and losses.

The Best of Youth, like the characters featured in it, starts full of promise and expectation. It's the 60s and two Italian brothers, Matteo and Nicola Carati, are still in school and getting ready for their summer vacation. When the brothers hear that Giorgia, a mental patient, is suspected of receiving electro-shock therapy, the brothers decide to steal her away and take her on a road trip, to the safety that is home to her father. Rather than a typical adventure of travel and liquor with their friends, Matteo and Nicola's voyage becomes an experience that helps them grow, one that guides their future paths, both philosophically and professionally. Matteo joins the army, eventually enlisting in the police force. Nicola becomes a psychiatrist, working with mental patients, guided by the new philosophy that these patients should be treated with dignity, rather than caged like animals. The brothers are close, but having their own lives, they face quite different trials. Matteo, a cold, strict authoritarian, has a dangerous career and has little time for and interest in personal relationships. On the other hand, Nicola is kind, passionate and warm. He marries and equally passionate woman, have a child and raise her together, but her passions lead her elsewhere, and the choice she makes is one Nicola must wrestle with. Throughout the forty years that we explore the lives of these two men, we grow to enjoy Nicola's comforting smile and soft touch while looking forward to the dramatic scenes that Nicola faces everyday. Through it all there's family. These brothers, their friendships, their parents and sister, and their husbands and wives... The six-hour tale that is The Best Of Youth is a pastoral study of two lives intermingled with Italian history, if I may quote the book that made me want to see it: "...the 1966 floods that devastated Florence... the Red Brigade terrorist group... the 1980s trials against the Mafia." These historical events help us get rooted in the era these men are living in, and rather than taking away from their personal drama, these events add to the context of their lives.
Yep, they're brothers
Yep, they're brothers

 

I suspect that the problem with Human Drama films is in the characters. You're either into the lives of these everyday people, or you aren't. If you aren't a fan of angry loner policemen or joyous family-oriented psychiatrists, then suddenly, a film crowned by interesting historical events just isn't for you. I found Matteo's life far more fascinating, but because of his personality, an in-depth study couldn't be done because of the very nature of this private character. We follow more closely the open, honest and eloquent Nicola, a character whose life was a pleasure to watch, but not nearly as exciting. Nonetheless, this will certainly not deter me from my explorations of other Italian 1001-listers The Leopard (over 3 hours) and Rocco and His Brothers (2 ½ hours), films which share this plot style of a family-in-the-life. 

In short, The Best of Youth is the perfect example of the sort of film that deserves praise but that I nonetheless wanted to get sucked into far more than I really did.

 

 Yep, that's art
Yep, that's art

Performance: 8 Cinematography: 8 Script: 8 Plot: 7 Mood: 7

Overall Rating: 76% (Perhaps Not The VERY Best, But Still Fresh)
Aftertaste:

In my opinion, The Best of Youth is the sort of film, the sort of mini-series, that every country needs to export. Imagine seeing a story montage of 40 years of Madagascar's history as seen by one of its families, or Poland, or Sweden, or Mongolia... ok maybe not Mongolia, but a place where history frequently shifted and help create a canvas for the palette that are the country’s individuals.

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Boa Noite,

Fazendo uma busca sobre os 1001 Filmes, descobrimos seu site, onde descobrimos que seu objetivo é bastante parecido com o nosso: assistir os 1001 Filmes e publicar comentários particulares sobre cada um deles.

Caso tenha interesse, nos visite no "O Teatro Da Vida", será bem vindo.

Posso listar o seu site a meu blog?

Abraços!


WTF??????????????


Try it in Google Translate. It's Portuguese and all about the guy's study into 1001!

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