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MID-AUGUST LUNCH

Director: GIANNI DI GREGORIO

ITALY • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 75 MIN


Mid-August Lunch by Gianni Di Gregorio — a former assistant director to Matteo Garrone and co-writer of Gomorrah — is a gem whose intelligent, gentle, deadpan humour is entirely irresistible. Using a style similar to that of Garrone — handheld camerawork, non-professional actors — Di Gregorio tells the semi-autobiographical story of Gianni, a middle-aged man who lives with his widowed mother. Through a humorous turn of events, Gianni (played to perfection by the director) is forced to take care not only of his strong-willed mother during an August holiday, but three other equally fussy elderly women as well.

Perhaps not since the original Ladykillers has there been a movie with such stupendous little old ladies, and it is refreshing to see older characters written with so much warmth and respect, their loneliness never once ridiculed or undermined. Di Gregorio also gently mocks the stereotypical figure of the Italian mammone (a mamma’s boy) in a story that leaves you chuckling longer after it ends.

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