La casa di famiglia: Never sell the family home
by Camillo De Marco
- The debut feature by Augusto Fornari, out in Italian cinemas today thanks to Vision Distribution, is a light-hearted comedy with an excellent cast of young actors
The debut feature film by actor Augusto Fornari, the light-hearted, to-the-point and simple comedy, La casa di famiglia [+see also:
film profile] (lit. "The Family Home"), is out in Italian cinemas today thanks to Vision Distribution, which produced the film along with Fulvio and Federica Lucisano’s company, Italian International Film.
The director's theatrical background has perhaps led to him playing greater attention to the actors than the plot and the collective preparation of the cast. The protagonists are four siblings whose father has been in a coma for five years. They decide to sell the family home, mainly so that they can help out their brother who is in serious financial difficulty. The film starts with a flashback to the 1980s. We see a happy family in an enchanting residence nestled in the greenery, while we familiarise ourselves with each of the character's personalities. The siblings could not be more different: Alex (Lino Guanciale, Wondrous Boccaccio [+see also:
interview: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
film profile]), irresponsible and reckless and in financial difficulty with his tennis club, Oreste (Stefano Fresi, I Can Quit Whenever I Want [+see also:
interview: Sydney Sibilia
film profile]), a musician who left the orchestra to compose his own music, Giacinto (Libero De Rienzo, I Can Quit Whenever I Want), cold banker and “hatchet man”, and Fanny (Matilde Gioli, 2Night [+see also:
film profile]), owner of a boutique who bursts into tears whenever she hears ex-boyfriend’s name, Matteo (Michele Venitucci), after he recently dumped her.
Having just sold the family home to their childhood friend and neighbour, owner of the Zaffarano house (Toni Fornari), and their furniture to an absurd Roman antique dealer (the songwriter Marco Conidi), the four siblings are suddenly faced with a miracle: their father wakes up from his coma (a great performance from Luigi Diberti). It’ll be no mean feat to pretend that they never sold the house and to recover the family’s old keepsakes, as well as their adorable dead dog, before taking their elderly father home. Some light gags, a few clichés here and there and a fundamental fondness flourish in this film, but the depth of the relationships between the siblings and between the children and their parents is hardly touched upon. The protagonists know how to inject a certain freshness into the story, Although Nicoletta Romanoff's appearance seems entirely superfluous in the shoes of a caregiver and former Russian prostitute – and a little jarring as a somewhat disrespectful stereotype.
(Translated from Italian)
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