Earlier this week I had a post on “the Weiner’s fear,” linking to a column by Christopher Dickey on the fear that possesses men from their 40s onward, of becoming invisible to younger women (I was informed that the link was broken, so here it is again). As it happens, I saw an Italian film on this theme just last week, ‘The Salt of Life’ (en France: ‘Gianni et les femmes‘), by the same director/actor who did the charming ‘Mid-August Lunch‘ (en France: ‘Le Déjeuner du 15 août‘) that came out two years ago. In the latter, the 60-ish Gianni whips up a Ferragosto meal for his mother and her three girlfriends, all in their 90s. In this one Gianni’s mother and her friends are still around but now he’s more focused on women half his age and then some. One of his buddies tries to persuade him to pursue babes—to have adventures like any normal male—and as Gianni is indeed interested, he tries to get back in the game. But the fantasy clashes with reality and he realizes that he is in fact not in the game anymore—that he is visible to younger women but not in the way he wants to be—but that’s finally okay. I liked the pic and thought it was realistic in the way it dealt with older men-younger women dynamics.
I should mention another Italian film I saw recently, ‘The Solitude of Prime Numbers’ (en France: ‘La Solitude des nombres premiers‘), based on a well-regarded novel by Paolo Giordano of the same name (which I didn’t know a thing about). It follows two tormented souls in Turin, from childhood into adulthood. The Italians are big on films that follow its characters over decades. Most are good to excellent—e.g. ‘La Meglio gioventù’, which made my Best of list of the last decade—, this one I’m not sure about. Here’s one good review.
And I have to mention the Dardenne brothers’ latest film, ‘Le Gamin au vélo‘ (English title: ‘The Kid with a Bike‘). The Dardenne brothers have never made a bad or even mediocre film. This one is first rate. Cécile de France is perfectly cast and the performance of the 11-year old boy is amazing. A must see.