Italian for Beginners

  • Film
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There's some mileage yet in the Dogme franchise. Shot on some of the same locations as Dancer in the Dark, this immensely likeable movie about six unhappy loners eking out an existence in a dead end town starts in bleak fashion, but once the losers start attending evening classes in Italian, the mood begins to lighten. By the final reel, the film has turned into something approaching a conventional romantic comedy. Scherfig (the first woman to direct a Dogme movie) denies that she was trying to serve up a fairytale ending. 'I just hope people who see the film can see the possibility of turning a not so good fate into a slightly better one,' she says.

Release details

Rated: 15
Duration: 112 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lone Scherfig
Screenwriter: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Anders W Berthelsen
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen
Anette Støvelbæk
Peter Gantzler
Lars Kaalund
Sara Indrio Jensen
Elsebeth Steentoft

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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This was not Hollywood-lite as the reviewer asserts, it's the viking pursuit of sunnier climes, using the metaphor of a language class in Italian for the pursuit of relationships. It's gawky,sincere,charming taking place at a basic religious and economic level of existence,so no great complications or sophistication amongst the 6 characters.We see them i)getting haircuts, ii)going to funerals,iii) losing or struggling with jobs or starting new ones. Of course there is a level of coincidence and strange togetherness amongst strangers that bespeaks the language of the heart rather than the language of the head,so what, it provides light relief from the usual dogme fair and even Shakespeare had his comedies.