Italian movies on Netflix: Vogue’s top 5
From the great classics, such as The ciociara is Bread, love and …, to the most awarded The great beauty is The last Kiss, to get to the successful remakes, always in comic sauce, like welcome to the South, right up to the brilliant scam heroes of I quit when I want: the made in Italy repertoire present on Netflix it is vast and varied and it would be impossible to list all the titles to see for the first time or to rewatch together, but certainly at least five Italian films that may have escaped deserve special attention. They are recent, courageous and original, each in their own way, and they depart from that wave of revivals born of a nostalgia effect and often the result of a lack of creativity.
Partly the result of the ingenuity of young artists and partly homage to icons of tricolor cinema, they stage a peninsula with many faces and a thousand facets. No postcard rhetoric, zero cultural clichés and a lot of hope: whether there are authorial ambitions or pure desire for entertainment, it matters little. They have in common stories of great and small humanity, of shared journeys or of immense solitude.
1. Call me by your name
In the beginning there was the novel of the same name by André Aciman, then came the film by Luca Guadagnino set in the Eighties and winner of an Oscar on four nominations, which tells the first heartbeat of two boys, Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer). The beauty of discovery, the thrill of falling in love, the magical suspension of summer: every moment has the flavor of infinity. The two spend time together chatting at the bar of the village in northern Italy, swimming in the pool of the country villa (Elio’s father, a professor, hosts the American student Oliver for the holidays), meeting expectant gazes from from one point to another in the library and to cycle, free, in the countryside near Crema. Everything is new, colors become more vivid, emotions are amplified and words acquire a different sound. Getting lost in one another without fear, with that recklessness typical of age and the search for oneself, remains one of the most sublime gifts of this tale with an ancient flavor.
Poetic and exciting, it is ideal for those who know that no gesture seems small in the eyes of those who love.
2. The place
A bar, a notebook and eight stories written down between the pages of a mysterious mansitting at the most isolated table in the room. Paolo Genovese stages the remake of The booth at the end series, with an all-star cast of Italian performers that includes Alessandro Borghi and Vittoria Puccini. It looks like a puzzle whose pieces fit together with studied slowness because each character reveals only the bare minimum of himself. The purpose? Convince this stranger to grant their wish. It is not free, however, and each request has a cost, not monetary but equally exorbitant because it requires a very delicate task and often at the limits of legality and morality. It is a series of paradoxes, impossible crossroads, like when a nun forces her to become pregnant to regain her faith. Day after day a suffering humanity, martyred, bent by adversity and abandoned, sits before him, but no word goes unheard.
Mysterious and compelling, it is recommended for those who don’t want all the answers, but just try to ask themselves the right questions.
3. They called him Jeeg Robot
The self-produced debut of Gabriele Mainetti, it looks like a long and desperate fable and one of the best Italian movies on Netflix. At the center of the story is a disenchanted and lost man, a cheap thief, Enzo (Claudio Santamaria), who acts in the Roman suburbs with characters of dubious fame like lo Gypsy (Luca Marinelli). When he meets a somewhat “nutty” and naive neighbor, Alessia (Ilenia Pastorelli), instead of treating her with her usual cynicism, she unwillingly begins to be part of her fantasy world with the obsession of Jeeg steel robot. Slowly the boy embodies that superhero figure when he discovers he has become invincible after taking a bullet. Spiderman would say that great powers come with great responsibilities, but Enzo is used to living with expedients and this sudden turn seems to him the opportunity he has always sought to get away with. Only Alessia believes there is good in him and really looks at him as if she adores the earth on which he rests. The protagonist, on the other hand, from a lone wolf slowly transforms into a different, unexpected, surprising man.
Visionary and dreamy, it is recommended for those who believe in the power of desires and the willpower to make them come true.
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4. Life ahead
Life ahead of him marks the return to the stage of the divine Sophia Loren after more than ten years of absence. Her son Edoardo Ponti, who directed this film based on the novel of the same name by Romain Gary, convinced her. And already there is talk of an Oscar-like state of grace, which could also involve the soundtrack with the song by Laura Pausini. The story is sadly current because there is talk of prejudice, intolerance and racism, but also of acceptance. The protagonist, Madame Rosa, has a past as a deported to a concentration camp and as a prostitute but in Bari she has dedicated her life to giving a roof over their heads to abandoned children. Unexpectedly one day she finds herself looking after an orphaned child, Momò, of Senegalese origins. What began as a far from peaceful encounter and grew as a relationship of mistrust and hostility, however, evolves into a strange friendship based on respect and trust. Day after day the two learn a lot from each other and grow up unexpectedly together.
Touching and evocative, recommended for those who do not stop at appearances.
The incredible story of the Isle of Roses
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5. The incredible story of the Isle of Roses
The incredible story of the Isle of Roses it is taken from a true story set in ’68, one of the most turbulent years of our near past. The protagonist George (Elio Germano) he’s an outlandish engineer, always ready to build curious prototypes and endorse less popular theories. One day, almost by chance, he hypothesizes the creation of a territory outside any jurisdiction, free from politics and economic interests, and he puts it into action with an installation in international waters. The funny story is brought to the attention of the Council of Europe which should recognize the independence of the Isle of Roses, after the approval of the UN. Giorgio issues passports, mintes coins and creates ad hoc stamps, to the point of offering citizenship to a stateless person. Young peers see this floating platform as an unrestricted paradise, a hymn to freedom and an ode to independence. Too bad that the institutions see it differently …
Eccentric, it is perfect for those who do not take no for an answer and believe that knowledge knows no boundaries.