The Italian Film Festival: coming to a Palace Cinema near you

And sing out below if you’re planning to go to a film – perhaps we could encourage some visits to the cinema by the TLA (Troppo Latte Auxiliary).

Top Picks

Trailer Icon 03 Let Yourself Go! (Opening Night)
Dr. Elia Venezia is a psychoanalyst who is separated from his wife, but still lives in the same apartment block as her. Venezia lives a comfortable and rather self-centred existence, until a spell of illness forces him to the doctor. Instructed to lose some weight, he befriends a vivacious Spanish personal trainer Claudia, a single mother with an unhinged criminal ex-boyfriend. As Claudia drags Elia around Rome, a series of mishaps ensue, breathing new energy into his tired and predictable life.
☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB

Trailer Icon 03 Indivisible (Centrepiece)
Connected at the hip, 18-year-olds Daisy and Viola are gifted with beautiful voices and often sing at local weddings, family functions, and communions. Their father, a seedy small-time businessman, has turned them into an entertainment act in order to support the family and, ultimately, fill his own pockets. A chance meeting with a doctor reveals that the twins can be safely separated. The ensuing drama is twofold. The twins each have somewhat different views on what this radical step could mean. Their father, meanwhile, is apoplectic when confronted with the possibility of no longer being able to cash in on his daughters. The tender authenticity of the sisters’ bond sits in stark contrast to the extremes of arrogance, greed and lust that surround them; aided by the terrific, break-out performances from real-life twin sisters Angela and Marianna Fontana.
☆☆☆☆ IMDB
☆☆☆☆☆ Slant Magazine

Trailer Icon 03 Fortunata (Special Presentation)
Fortunata (“Lucky”) has had a difficult life, a daughter of eight and a failed marriage behind her. Travelling daily from her working class suburb to attend the homes of rich women, where she works as a hairdresser, her dream is to get lucky by winning the lottery and open her own salon. She has best friend Chicano, and her daughter at her side, and the gumption to make it stick; what’s still standing in her way is her security guard ex-husband Franco, who’s contesting for custody of their child. When a court order places her child in therapy, which is the last thing Fortunata needs, fate intervenes when she encounters the deeply compassionate Dr. Patrizio.
☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB
☆☆☆☆☆ The Upcoming

Trailer Icon 03 Dalida (Special Event)
Dalida was one of Europe’s most famous singers from the late 1950s to the 1980s and a legend in the disco boom. A strong and independent performer, Dalida struggled in her love life. Her truest love was for her first husband Lucien Morisse, who discovered and nurtured her. However, he was but the first of several lovers, including the young Italian singer, Luigi Tenco, an Italian student and a French high society member. The only man in her life who was almost constantly present was her brother Orlando, who cared for her and became her producer. This lavish French/Italian co-production follows Dalida’s tragic life as well as her singing career that saw her sell 170 million records worldwide.
☆☆☆☆ IMDB

It’s the wartime in 1940s, New York City. Kind and goofy Italian waiter Arturo annoys New Yorkers with his comic mangling of the word “water”. Arturo pines for Flora, but she’s betrothed to the son of a New York mafia boss. Arturo’s only option is to ask Flora’s father for her hand; however, he still lives in Sicily. Penniless but determined, Arturo takes a “free” passage to Italy by enlisting in the U.S. military at the start of the Allied invasion.
☆☆☆☆ IMDB

In this second installment of a planned trilogy, the adventures of neurobiologist Pietro Zinni and his academic colleagues take an action-packed turn. In exchange for a clean criminal record, the team are asked to secretly collaborate with the police to stop a rapidly spreading smart drug scourge, however for this new task they’ll need back-up. Tackling the issue of the “brain-drain” gripping Italy as scholars move abroad in search of work, Pietro recruits an anatomist living as a Muay Thai expert in Bangkok, an engineer selling ludicrous weapons in Nigeria and a lawyer specialising in canon law in the Vatican. Now the gang is reassembled and are off on a mission that will force them to become “the scholarly arm of the law”.
☆☆☆☆ IMDB

Told through a trio of loosely connected stories, Coffee explores human relationships through the drink that wakes the world up in the morning. In Italy, out-of-work barista Renzo, desperate to find a job doing what he loves, becomes ensnared in a roasting factory heist. In Belgium, pawnshop owner Hamed is attacked one night by protesters who steal an antique coffee urn, resulting in a tense life-or-death struggle that mirrors Europe’s current immigration anxieties. In China, Ren Fei’s, allegiance to his employer and future father-in-law is tested when their chemical plant jeopardizes the coffee plantations in his hometown. Especially when a local young artist, shares with her a bold scheme to expand her father’s eco-friendly coffee farm.
☆☆☆☆ IMDB

This story of a teenage girl about to take a vow of chastity and the rough-around-the-edges boy she meets, is set on the outskirts of Rome. Wide-eyed Agnese and streetwise Stefano are profoundly different. She is just seventeen and lives with her devout mother Marta. He is twenty-five, with a difficult past and who eyes the world with suspicion. Their unlikely pairing draws out aspects of themselves they barely connected with before. For Agnese, her growth into womanhood means pushing away the crutch of the Church. When Stefano’s parents are evicted, he realises there’s little difference between himself and the Roma he instinctively denigrates. Both young people feel their precarious sense of stability slipping away; clinging to each other may be their only chance of survival.
☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB

Sea Dreaming Girls is a gorgeous, joyous and funny documentary about discovering new things and living carefree at any age, as it follows a lively group of nonnas who have never seen the sea. In the tiny Italian mountain village of Daone, a group of grandmothers led by the straight-talking Erminia begin planning a trip in honour of their Rododendro club’s 20th anniversary. They quickly agree on a trip to the sea, where many of their members have never ventured. But how will they raise enough money so that everyone can wiggle their toes in the surf? They sell pies and sweets and even boldly pose for a calendar but when this doesn’t get them the money they need, they have one last idea and it is this one that sends them viral, making them famous across Italy.
☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB

In a little Sicilian village on the edge of a forest, Giuseppe, a boy of 13, vanishes. Luna, his classmate, who is in love with him, refuses to accept his mysterious disappearance. She rebels against the silence and complicity surrounding his disappearance. To find him, she descends into the dark world which has swallowed him up, with a lake as its mysterious entrance.
☆☆☆☆ IMDB

Adapted from a novel, the film explores the fallout for women at the end of a long-term relationship. Claudia and Flavio were once passionately in love, but all of that is over. Now, in their fifties, they must venture anew into the world of love and dating once more but for Claudia confronting the end and accepting a new beginning isn’t so easy. Claudia is unwilling to let go and forget the life she’s built with Flavio, while Flavio, eager to move on, soon finds himself in a relationship with a much younger woman. Claudia soon reconnects with Nina, a student from her days as a professor. The film becomes a portrait of two generations, a story of how not only age but life experience allows the four to find new ways to relate to one another.
☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB

Trailer Icon 03 Life Is Beautiful (Closing Night)
Guido, a young Jewish man, falls in love instantly with beautiful Dora. Several years pass, it’s 1945, Guido and Dora are married and dote on their 5-year-old son Giosuè. But the Germans have taken over the town and Guido’s new family is transported to a death camp. As the backdrop turns darker Guido tries to shield his son from the horror by convincing him that the camp is an elaborate game, in which points are won against the guards by staying hidden and concealing fear. The prize, he promises, will be a life-size military tank.
☆☆☆☆☆ BBC
☆☆☆☆ Eye For Film
☆☆☆☆ IMDB

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