The Best of Youth

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Overview

Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana and La Meglio Gioventu, this film chronicles the youth, emotional development, and milestone events in the lives of brothers Nicola Luigi Lo Cascio and Matteo Carti Alessio Boni between 1966 and the early 2000s. Despite being polar opposites -- Nicola is a free spirited, romantic psychiatrist; Matteo is an angst-ridden idealist and member of the Italian police force -- the brothers stay connected through the nature of life, family, and time, even during their long periods of ...
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Overview

Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana and La Meglio Gioventu, this film chronicles the youth, emotional development, and milestone events in the lives of brothers Nicola Luigi Lo Cascio and Matteo Carti Alessio Boni between 1966 and the early 2000s. Despite being polar opposites -- Nicola is a free spirited, romantic psychiatrist; Matteo is an angst-ridden idealist and member of the Italian police force -- the brothers stay connected through the nature of life, family, and time, even during their long periods of separation from one another. ~ Tracie Cooper
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Special Features

Dolby Digital Surround Sound; Widescreen (1.85:1) - enhanced for 16x9 televisions; Italian & French language tracks; English & Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This sprawling yet intimate Italian drama directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, originally intended as a TV series but reedited as a two-part film running six hours, spans a half century in the lives of two brothers. We first meet siblings Nicola Luigi Lo Cascio and Matteo Alessio Boni as idealistic young students in 1960s Rome. Matteo volunteers at a mental hospital and, with Nicola's help, hatches a disastrous plan to free a mistreated female patient Jasmine Trinca with whom he's infatuated. The plan's ultimate failure defines the remainder of the borthers' lives: An angry Matteo grows cold and cynical, ending up as a hard-nosed cop, while Nicola becomes a doctor who campaigns for the rights of psychiatric patients. The story line reflects Matteo's ambivalence about his brother's appropriation of a cause he once championed, and how it colors their relationship. The performances appear heartfelt, with Lo Cascio and Boni effectively revealing personalities that evolve along markedly different lines. At times overwhelming, The Best of Youth is generally a very satisfying, expansively proportioned piece of work.
All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
Not since Evan Hunter's seminal 1974 novel Streets of Gold has an epic followed the shifting currents of Italian lives with as much bravura as Marco Tullio Giordana's La Meglio Gioventù -- The Best of Youth. Shot for Italian television but screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and around the world as a six-hour feature, Gioventù turns its gaze to the interworkings of a single Mediterranean family, the Caratis. Shifting between substories, Giordana uses the extended run time to map out the transitions of each character over the decades so smoothly, subtly, and convincingly that those changes fly under the audience's radar. The director works melodramatic twists into his formula, but, surprisingly, those twists never feel necessary. Giordana uses the more histrionic events only as formulaic hooks and benchmarks, and something more essential and wondrous begins to happen at the core of the drama: we find ourselves pulled gently into the sweet, subtle and lyrical growth of the Carati family, collectively, over the passing years -- as a larger product of the individual characters' transitions. Equally impressive is Giordana's ability to not only wrap the narrative around Italian historical poles which will elude Americans in their specificity but are obvious in their existence but to use the familial events as a kind of microcosmic analogue and corollary of the broader conflicts in Italian society -- particularly that of the Red Brigade terrorist underground versus the establishment. Gioventù falls short of perfection, but only by a notch or two. The sequential transitions in the first half feel a bit jerky; as for substories, Giordana virtually abandons his gripping opener after he sets it up, which leaves us initially bewildered though one could argue, of course, that such stories are seldom resolved in the everyday world, and typically do trail off, sans resolution. And even though the filmmaker unexpectedly resumes this thread at a later stage, such is not an isolated weakness: several points arise when so much time passes in the context of the story without updates on one particular subplot or another that we scratch our heads incredulously. Also, the pace lags a bit in the second half -- a few conversations drag and fail to push the narrative forward significantly. And, cosmetically, Giordana and co. handle the aging of the actors with great clumsiness. But, when held next to this picture's many extraordinary achievements, one can easily overlook these minor flaws. To disclose any of Gioventù's fascinating story developments here would be grossly unfair and cruel, except to note that Giordana feels unafraid to courageously toy with the form and defy the "first ten minutes rule" of screenwriting by capriciously injecting a fantasy element into one of the momentous, heart-rending closing scenes -- a move that suggests influence by the 1990 Milou en Mai. One might compare this picture's broad, sweeping canvas to a marvelously engrossing novel, but it actually transcends the level of a roman -- for a first-time viewer, the film carries the paralyzing shocks and joyous discoveries of everyday life. And on that level, it truly is a special motion picture -- and one that exudes wonder from first frame to last. When one of the Carati grandsons finally utters the last line -- a point-blank reflection on the beauty of living -- what might otherwise seem clichéd and stale feels more than justified by the great life-tapestry that has preceded it.
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Like a great novel from a more expansive bygone age, The Best of Youth is full of big thoughts; like a great soap opera, it's also full of sharp plot turns, vibrant characters, and great talk. It is, in short, the best of cinema.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
It is a luxury to be enveloped in a good film, and to know there's a lot more of it -- that it is not moving inexorably toward an ending you can anticipate, but moving indefinitely into a future that is free to be shaped in surprising ways. When you hear that it is six hours long, reflect that it is therefore also six hours deep.
Newsweek - David Ansen
Smart, generous, as subtle as it is expansive, this is storytelling of a rare order. Six hours may seem like a big investment, but the emotional pay-back is beyond price.

Like a great novel from a more expansive bygone age, The Best of Youth is full of big thoughts; like a great soap opera, it's also full of sharp plot turns, vibrant characters, and great talk. It is, in short, the best of cinema.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/7/2006
  • UPC: 786936291193
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Miramax
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 6:08:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Luigi Lo Cascio Nicola Carati
Alessio Boni Matteo Carati
Adriana Asti Adriana Carati
Sonia Bergamasco Giulia Monfalco
Fabrizio Gifuni Carlo Tommasi
Maya Sansa Mirella Utano
Valentina Carnelutti Francesca Carati
Jasmine Trinca Giorgia
Andrea Tidona Angelo Carati
Lidia Vitale Giovanna Carati
Camilla Filippi Sara Carati
Greta Cavuoti Sara Carati (8 years old)
Sara Pavoncello Sara Carati (5 years old)
Claudio Gioe Vitale Micavi
Technical Credits
Marco Tullio Giordana Director
Angelo Barbagallo Producer
Jorg Baumgarten Art Director
Alessandro Calosci Executive Producer
Fulgenzio Ceccon Sound/Sound Designer
Franco Ceraolo Production Designer
Penny Crawford Set Decoration/Design
Roberto Forza Cinematographer
Barbara Melega Asst. Director, Casting
Roberto Missiroli Editor
Elisabetta Montaldo Costumes/Costume Designer
Sandro Petraglia Screenwriter
Stefano Rulli Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Best of Youth - Act One
1. Rome, Summer 1966 [:00]
2. Giorgia [:00]
3. Not Like Matteo [:00]
4. A Delicate Situation [:00]
5. Can't Go Home [7:58]
6. Parting Ways [7:19]
7. Different Paths [8:22]
8. Reunited [7:47]
9. Giulia [16:19]
10. Turin 1968 to 1974 [12:47]
11. Sara [14:41]
12. I Swear [11:07]
13. For Me [2:36]
14. Look Inside [:50]
15. The Inspection [3:39]
16. Matteo's Visit [10:12]
17. Your Father [6:32]
18. Losing Giulia [9:55]
19. Spring 1980 [12:38]
Disc #2 -- The Best of Youth - Act Two
1. Summer 1982 [:00]
2. Fall 1983 [:00]
3. The Mark [:00]
4. Come With Me [:00]
5. I'm a Target [10:25]
6. December 31, 1983 [8:27]
7. Happy New Year [8:45]
8. That Same Door [8:51]
9. A Dangerous Meeting [9:34]
10. Be Strong [9:52]
11. Spring 1992 [10:15]
12. Now There's Justice [8:21]
13. Picture #7 [2:42]
14. Finding Mirella [11:10]
15. A Lovely Day [7:52]
16. Andrea [4:27]
17. Less Talk, More Work [12:19]
18. Tuscany, Spring 1995 [9:48]
19. Deat Nicola [5:00]
20. Spring 2000 [6:51]
21. Rekindled [3:32]
22. Nicola & Mirella [7:35]
23. Everything Is Beautiful [9:07]
24. End Credits [7:57]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Best of Youth - Act One
   Play
   Set Up
      Spoken Languages
         Italian
         French
      Captions and Subtitles
         Captions: English for the Hearing Impaired
         Subtitles: English
         Subtitles: Spanish
         Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
Disc #2 -- The Best of Youth - Act Two
   Play
   Set Up
      Spoken Languages
         Italian
         French
      Captions and Subtitles
         Captions: English for the Hearing Impaired
         Subtitles: English
         Subtitles: Spanish
         Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Movie Enthusiast

    I happened to catch this movie on Bravo (I believe) and sat through it all in one session. Watching this movie evoked many memories of my youth growing up in Italy. A phenomenal movie that truly grasps all main events (the flood in florence, the 82 world cup, the lead years, etc...) that occurred during my lifetime in Italy that I felt like I was in the movie. A superb movie for anyone that can relate with the events of the time. Loved it Loved it Loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the most engrossing films I've seen in years

    As with another reviewer here, I viewed this film in 2 three-hour sessions a week apart) and certain scenes have stayed with me and have kept replaying in my mind in a way that has never happend to this hard-to-please film lover before. I had a difficult time keeping the relationships of some of the characters straight at the beginning, but this proved to be a minor inconvenience in a film which handled so many lines of interest so well. I would see it again in a heartbeat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The most overrated DVD ever produced

    It's just okay. Not a keeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best!

    The Best of Youth is an incredibly beautiful, complex, insightful, and engrossing film. The mini-series (two CDs, 3 hours each) allows for wonderful character development and the ability to follow the lives of some very interesting people over about a 30-year period of time. It was thought provoking and emotionally moving. I enjoyed it thoroughly! I've recommended it to all my friends. I watched it about two weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about it. I'm eager to watch it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Masterpiece

    Marco Tullio Giordana's epic "The Best of Youth" begins with a rousing rendition of The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" and ends with a view of the arctic sun from an airplane setting across a vast horizon into the descent of dusk. In between, over the course of this six-hour masterpiece, we are introduced to over a dozen major characters who disappear and reappear sporadically over a period of 35 years. These characters will provide us with a foundation of the transformation of Italy (and the rest of the world) from the tumultuous turmoil of the 1960s to the unpredictable shuffle of the 1990s and early 2000s. The film's two protagonists, Nicola and Matteo, are brothers whose lives seem very planned and prepared after their graduation from college, but soon are steered in very surprising paths after a crucial summer trip through the Italian countryside with a young mental patient who will later return in some most unexpected ways. The genius of Giordana's film is not its sheer breadth, however impressive it may be, but its quieter moments when the characters reminisce about their past and ponder the unyielding surprises their futures will bring them. The actors are ubiquitously sublime, and the music and cinematography are sweeping. The six hour running length may seem arduous at first, but astonishingly, the film is void of any and all excess -- every scene belongs in this movie, and once the story hooks you in after the first couple of hours, it is nearly impossible to turn away. And after the last two scenes of this motion picture, two of the very best scenes in recent cinematic memory, the viewer simply does not wish to leave the confines of this story and these characters. It takes effort, to be sure, but "The Best of Youth" is a marvelously rewarding picture, embodying the argument why cinema should unquestionably be considered fine art.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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