Mid-August Lunch by Gianni Di Gregorio
Mid-August Lunch is the first film directed by Gianni Di Gregorio, who also wrote the screenplay and played the main role. But it really doesn't look like a debut.
Mid-August Lunch is the first film directed by Gianni Di Gregorio, who also wrote the screenplay and played the main role. But it really doesn’t look like a debut.
Gianni is a middle-aged man who lives with his demanding 93-year-old mother (Valeria De Franciscis) and is sinking in debt. The day before Ferragosto, he hosts his landlord’s mother and aunt together with his doctor’s mother, since, while everybody seems to have plans (and a life), he is the only one who is not leaving Rome.
Casting non-professional actresses, the result is incredibly dynamic and lively. Their performance is outstanding, precisely because it is not “perfect”. It is human, and it opens a natural reflection upon old age.
Not an easy topic to deal with. And not very popular as well. Dismissed by Hollywood (when it can’t fit romantic comedy’s schemes), it finds its fullest expression in Mid-August Lunch, thanks to a genuine acting. Dialogues give space to expressions in dialect and to unpredictable reactions that make this film extremely realistic and therefore touching.
This film also exposes the loneliness elderly people experience and their fight against it. Gianni himself is approaching to this stage of his life, and he probably realizes it while drinking more and more throughout the film. There is nothing he can do about it but to embrace it, why not, gaining something from it (literally!). But he is not just an exploiter of this situation: his character is the very last bastion of respect and affection for elderly people in our society. Those women, grandmothers, mothers, aunts, are neglected and put aside not only by society but also by their very families, and they find in Gianni the last interlocutor for their desire to live a full life until the end.
Director: Gianni Di Gregorio
Writers: Gianni Di Gregorio, Simone Riccardini
Cast: Gianni Di Gregorio, Valeria De Franciscis, Marina Cacciotti, Maria Calì, Grazia Cesarini Sforzi, Alfonso Santagata