Big Night

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

New Jersey, the late '50s: Italian immigrants Primo and Secondo Pilaggi (Shalhoub and Tucci) are struggling to make a go of their restaurant, The Paradise. While Primo is a master chef with a near-mystical faith in the traditional food of the old country - too subtle for the locals, who'd rather dine down the street at the glitzy Americanised eatery owned by the flamboyant Pascal (Holm) - Secondo tactfully suggests his older brother offer a few compromises on the menu before the bank forecloses. Ironically, potential salvation comes from Pascal, who promises that, as a publicity stunt, he'll get his friend, the crooner Louis Prima, to visit The Paradise. It's their last chance, and the brothers prepare a banquet no one will ever forget. Directed by actors Tucci and Scott, and written by Tucci with his cousin Joseph Tropiano, this beautifully acted film is a modest but big-hearted delight. Focusing firmly on mood, character and situation, it finds time not only for a generous, balanced appraisal of the brothers' relationship, but for a wealth of other deftly drawn personalities. Much is made of the big night and its preparation, with mouth-watering results, but it's the long, final shot of an omelette being cooked and eaten that best characterises the film's prime virtues: simple, unpretentious, to the point, and warmly human.


Release details

108 mins

Cast and crew

Stanley Tucci, Campbell Scott
Joseph Tropiano, Stanley Tucci
Allison Janney
Minnie Driver
Stanley Tucci
Marc Anthony
Ian Holm
Campbell Scott
Isabella Rossellini
Tony Shalhoub
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