Dear Diary (1993) Poster


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An amusing personal film
Joel I15 July 1999
I came across this little gem in the bargain bin at my video store and was delightfully surprised. It is a free form film, divided into three parts which are pretty much like the diary entries alluded to in the title -- personal stories and reflections by writer/director Nanni Moretti, playing himself as a loner and narrating the film, sometimes in voice-over, sometimes on-screen (the other characters are oblivious to his narration). The film has an ironic wit and a casual style that is refreshing to watch. In the first segment, he just drives around Rome on his Vespa, admiring housing projects, spouting admiration for Jennifer Beale, and searching for the spot where Pier Paolo Pasolini was murdered. In one hilarious scene, he takes time out from his ride to berate a movie critic for giving a favorable review to "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." In the second segment, Moretti goes hopping around the Italian Islands (spectacularly filmed) and tries in vain to get some writing done. On one island, all of the families have just one child, who willfully dominates the parents. In the third segment, Moretti recounts in almost documentary style the true story of his search for a cure for his baffling skin condition, which causes unbearable itching. His many visits to dermatologists and pharmacies are presented in excruciating detail but not without an air of wry detachment. Moretti's closing take is memorable. If you watch this film on its own terms, it's a wonderful viewing experience.
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Why I loved the third segment of Caro Diario
wendy18orange8 December 2006
Posters prefer, so it seems, the first two segments of Dear Diary. I thought that the last one, where NM is itching like crazy is absolutely brilliant and beyond brilliant. If you've been sick with god knows what, then you may well have had the same voyage as he.

No one has ever captured on film, to my knowledge, why and how doctors, famed and not famed, traditional and alternative, are so dammed frustrating when you have a problem that doesn't quit. I found myself relating totally to Moretti's utter frustration and since it ended without resolution re: his cancer, I can only assume he beat it.

Many times I or someone I love has this same tortuous struggle to find A SINGLE healer who really knows what gives. I found the cancer scenes very touching but it was the 8 months of itching and trying so many meds and accupuncture most true to our lousy medical situations. So many and none got it, until one did correctly diagnose him. I relate! And he's not Woody Allen, whose films I usually soak up, he's unique and brave and extremely intelligent. Thanks for listening.
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Loved it!
lost_cabbages13 June 2002
This is one of my all time favorite movies. The feeling of the whole film is just cozy and lovely. I first saw this movie on IFC and watched every time after that that I saw it was on. I could watch it a million times. I highly recommend it!
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Caro diario, a little undiscovered gem of a movie, maybe a bit artsy, but never pretentious or boring.
hotrod-321 April 1999
Caro diario (dear journal), is a little undiscovered gem of a movie, maybe a bit artsy, but never pretentious or boring. The main character is Nanni Moretti, the director, played by himself. Using a very original narrative, sometimes giving the impression you're watching a documentary only to be surprised when Nanni continues what the off-voice was saying to a guy in a convertible, it is an observation of different (and random) aspects of today's Italian society. In the first part Nanni rides around Rome on his vespa, alternating monologues commenting whatever's in sight with long cinematic scenes where the images and music ooze a mood that says all, the most memorable example of this being the visit to the beach where Passolini got murdered. In the second and most hilarious part he and a friend visit several Italian islands in search of peace and quiet. This part contains some Woody Allen-esque observations on human nature, tough comparing Moretti with Woody Allen would be underrating him, as making an island impossible to live on because it only consists of couples with a single child and illustrating it in such a witty manner seems far out of Allen's reach. The third part is Moretti's quest for a cure for his skin disease, taking him from doctor to homeopath to dermatologist and back. This seamed the lesser of the three parts, yet still very entertaining and funny tough somehow an anti-climatic ending to a great movie. And a great movie it is, certainly considering the director's favourite flic is 'Flashdance'.
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Why do I like this film so much?
keen-15 April 2001
Yes it is cute and Woody Allenish but there is something more. It is a movie about an ordinary man, who enjoys doing quiet things by himself such as riding around Rome on his Vespa and walking by himself, he is not a hero he's anyone. The music is really good and I managed to find it all on Napster and other sources. Notice some themes such as the Soccer(football) nets (goals) and the scene where he watches the nun on tv, that same scene is in Cinema Paradiso! I like World music so the scene of the band playing for the dancers is great-who is that group...what is the song? I didn't like the interposed parts showing Henri the serial killer or the Italian movie and I thought the last story was a bit boring- notice on the scene where he is looking for Passolini's murder spot how he just doubles back on himself.

I could go on talking about this film and it comes in as one of my five best Cinema Paradiso, Unbearable Lightness of Being, Manhattan, and The Year of Living Dangerously.
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A personal narrative
Angeneer29 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Nanni Moretti made a movie in three parts about himself and his country. At first, riding his Vespa, he describes his whereabouts and his love for his homeland and his fellow Italians. You get to know a lot of things about Rome. Then he goes on a trip to the islands and shows all the aspects of Italian culture, each island being one different type. This is the most funny part, although he also troubles himself and the viewer with the meaning of these lifestyles. At the end he gets more personal and recites his experiences with the medical system. While it's presented in a comic way, the end is certainly depressing. Very difficult to find joy when the word cancer is mentioned.
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Relaxing comedy
atabora12 March 2005
I had to purchase this film after seeing it once late at night on a cable channel many years ago. Although the director can come off as an effete intellectual, his focus is on the Italian culture as it has changed over the past 30 years. As a passive observer of Roman lifestyles, this film is better appreciated when you have some first hand experience living in Rome - since the director's point of view seems to come directly from this city. In a certain way, Caro Dario is the intellectual version or sequel to Fellini's Roma. Instead of satirizing low brow Roman lifestyles, Caro Dario spoofs the pretentious intellectuals (like his traveling comrade who finally breaks down and admits he is a soap opera addict) and the couples who have read various philosophical and historical works to their only son every night to help him go to sleep. As the parents are rattling off the list of philosophers and historians "... we have read Hegel, Wittgenstein, Herodotus, read and re-read Cicero", they hesitate for a moment not recalling one of the authors and the son chimes in "Tacitus!". It was funny just appreciating the stark contrast of the family's existence and lifestyle as compared to the principles and content of what they had been reading to their son.

I call it a relaxing comedy because it depends on vignettes for comedy and then intersperses great scenery and music in between. The comedic moments are just pointed enough to keep the film interesting, e.g., the very precise translation of "mezzo scemo" by Jennifer Beals; the island of misfit parents whose children reign; and the inside view of Roman medical care. Now all that's needed is a prequel to Roman culture. We have seen the Rome of the 1930s through the 1970s in Fellini's "Roma". Caro Dario takes us from the 1960s to the 1990s. Perhaps a good satire on the culture at the time Verdi through to World War I.
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Stunningly unique, humorous, refreshing film
mehmet_kurtkaya30 April 2009
Free flowing, naturally witty, at times very funny film, accompanied with some wonderful music, especially during scenes where Moretti rides his Vespa in beautiful, empty streets of Rome's suburbs.

The film is not like any other director's take on society while blending his personal stories in it. Imagine Moretti being your guide and taking you around Rome and Italian islands, introducing layers of the Italian society with razor sharp and witty observations.

Many of the characters in the film will seem familiar to people around the world. Being unable to afford an apartment in his home town, frustration with doctors and their addiction to prescribe drugs, parents becoming hostage to their child, extreme want for change and development, people offering hedonistic capitalism, frustrated narcissists living in isolation. And TV addiction! The scene where Moretti rides his scooter to the place where Passolini is murdered has almost a dreamy barren atmosphere to it and possibly is the saddest part.

And there are hilarious moments, especially the visits to the islands are a real treat! It was also great to see Jennifer Beals, Flashdance being one of my favorites too.

This is a gem, or better yet, a cult movie.
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A nice change of pace
susansweb1 November 2001
Not a standard film by any means but well done. The movie is broken into three parts, each part shares no relation with each other. In the first part we follow the director on his Vespa throughout Rome as his voiceovers talk about his impressions of Rome. Great selection of music for this part and Moretti's expressions watching "Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer" are hilarious. The second part, is of a more surreal bent as Moretti and a friend tour the islands surrounding Italy. Enjoy it for the scenery as for some of tongue in cheek commentary on the people living there. The third part follows a more linear plot as we follow Moretti trying to find the cause of his ailments. Generally lighthearted throughout this part turns rather serious at the end but since it has already happened, there is no concern for the future. A good introduction to one of the better Italian directors.
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Journey in a diary.
DukeEman12 February 2003
Nanni Moretti turns the camera on himself as he explores his hang-ups and obsessions via three chapters. The first chapter has him take us - the audience - for a humorous journey on his vespa, admiring the beauty and ugliness of suburban Rome. His next journey is through the Islands, searching for solitude to write a script. An hilarious chapter that saves the film, because by the third part we have had enough of Moretti. But we still thank him for taking us through his diary.
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nice, refreshing movie
jerebron30 November 2002
Interesting look on life, funny and sad. Not a movie for the action-seekers or the shallow. Movie follows main character (autobiography) on his wanderings through Rome and the Liparian Islands. Very nice camerawork. Simple but effective.
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Moretti's love letter to Rome, Italy and himself
MOscarbradley14 June 2017
"Dear Diary" is one of the delights of the Italian cinema, an adrenaline shot of pure pleasure from writer, director and star Nanni Moretti who uses his position as a film-maker to indulge himself in all the things he enjoys about Italy; his adopted city of Rome, the Italian islands, even taking a wryly humorous look at his treatment for cancer. Consequently the film is part documentary, part a lopsided fiction in which he sets up a series of scripted situations with himself as the star. It's a wholly original concept though it may remind you of some of Fellini's later films since they are all essentially love letters to Rome and to Italy. But "Dear Diary" goes further; it's also Moretti's love letter to cinema and he takes great delight in puncturing the pretensions of certain critics and the kind of low-brow films and television he abhors, ("Henry; Portrait of a Serial Killer", a film I love, gets singled out for special treatment), and who won't allow themselves to be moved when he visits the place where Pasolini was murdered. As for Moretti, himself, who wouldn't want to spend time with this charming man. A treat from start to finish.
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Sheer and utter crap
camaro1970_3 March 2005
One of the worst movies I saw in the 90s. I'd often use it as a benchmark when viewing other films; "At least it wasn't as bad as Caro Diario." Three absolutely pointless segments, all featuring the director playing himself -- and he's not that interesting. A whole segment about this hypochondriac going to the doctor. Another that features him riding around the countryside on his scooter. For three interesting minutes and another fifteen torturous ones.

The only redeeming factor was that the scooter scene was set to Keith Jarrett's 'Koln Concert'. Prompted me to go home and rediscover that marvelous album. The best thing you can say about the director/actor/egotist is that he's got great taste in music.
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With Caro diario, Italian actor/director Nanni Moretti tackles serious issues in a light manner.
FilmCriticLalitRao15 May 2013
Apart from Roman Holiday,Caro diario is another brilliant film which shows its protagonist ride a common man's preferred mode of transport,a scooter in order to explore some essential,life affirming themes which are close to a sensible human being's heart.In this film, Italian actor/director Nanni Moretti has established absolutely complete control of the cinema medium as he appears to be perfectly aware of the stories which need to be told and the manner in which they would be told. This is the reason why Caro Diario mixes comedy and drama in equal proportions to retain viewers' attention.As a cinema professional Nanni Moretti makes pertinent observations about cinema and television and the role played by both these entertainment forms.His stance appears to be impartial when he talks about the role played by film critics in the dissemination of cinema culture.By taking viewers close to the spot where Pasolini died in 1975,Nanni Moretti accurately proves that only a cinema person can be in a comfortable position to speak about another cinema person.The general mood of Italian nation and irregularities seen in health care system have also been portrayed in a frank yet non polemical manner by Nanni Moretti.Lastly, Caro Diario is the best example of a film which treats serious issues in a light manner.
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what nerve!
owenmoney22 November 2002
What sheer audacity it must take to write, direct and star in your own film. And on top of that, he cast himself in a sympathetic role. Okay, it was somewhat autobiographical. But this film (and in other ways his film The Son's Room) seems like Moretti's testament to his own fortitude, appreciation of simple things, humbleness, and ability to elicit sympathy. Why say these things about yourself? Why not wait for someone else to say them about you? That aside, the real things that ruin the film are Moretti's face and his manor. He looks and acts pompous, like Donald Trump or something. He horribly mis-cast himself! Only see this film if you want to appreciate/ridicule Moretti's sheer audacity and pomposity.
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A very pleasant trip , physically and mentally
yaaah_6925 May 2005
At first I was ready to turn this movie off , but Nanni's voice caught hold and I was glad I watched it . What a pleasant voice and tongue-in-cheek narration. The TV thing was a riot, as was the Dr. prescription part. You will enjoy this film, especially if you enjoy the Italian mind set. The hunt for peace and quiet is so close to everyday life that it fits like a glove. I was not aware of Nanni until I saw this title on the movie list on the Dish. I recorded it and played it back later. The cinematography is beautiful and the main character (Nanni) has an infectious voice and deadpan face. which makes the movie all the more enjoyable. I give this great flik 8/10 ciao yaaah69
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Fun film that the whole family would enjoy with a bizarre, wry humor; Italian with English subtitles
Dilip19 September 2003
I enjoyed this zany Italian movie. I like good "clean" humor based on bizarre situations, and this movie hit the mark, unlike any other film I've seen. In "Caro Diario" ("Dear Diary"), Nani Moretti directs himself as the main character in three chapters. He is portrayed as a slightly eccentric man who rarely smiles, but ends up pursuing somewhat odd pursuits.

In the first chapter, he rides his Vespa scooter in the suburbs of Rome. He likes to explore different neighborhoods and think about what kinds of people live in each. When he finds homes of particular interest, he makes up a story about his being a filmmaker and considering that apartment to be a set to make an excuse to see the inside.

I like the second chapter the best, where Nani goes to visit a friend in the Italian islands who is studying James Joyce's "Ulysses" for 30 years (if memory serves me right). He wants to share quiet time to work on his own project, making a film based on collected clippings of strange real-world stories from the newspapers.

In their quest to find the ideal island to work on, I found the funniest part of the film, where they are on an island where it seems everybody has a child. When people call each other, the children always pick up and inevitably the adults find themselves playing a game of "what does the cow say?" "moo!" "what does the duck say?" "quack!", the children urging them on and not passing the phone on. I laughed quite a bit when Nani finds three folks near each other all on public telephones trying, in vain, to talk to their adult friends; he pauses, then makes an animal noise as his contribution!

The third chapter is slightly less interesting than the other two. In this concluding portion, Nani is faced with a terrible itch when he sleeps. He consults doctor after doctor - skin doctors, allergists, acupuncturists, ... - and gets different advise from each. After collecting a large collection of creams, pills, and tinctures, he ends up visiting a surgeon.

It was a fun film that the whole family would enjoy, with a bizarre, wry, humor. Though I didn't enjoy it as much as the film "Amelie", the quirkiness in "Caro Diario" reminds me a little bit of "Amelie", especially in the 1st chapter. This film is in Italian with English subtitles. I would gladly see it again - it was a lucky video find! (7 stars out of 10.)
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One of the most BORING films I have ever seen!
Dave11362 June 2006
This film is BORING, BORING, BORING, BORING, and BORING!!! It's not the worse film I ever saw, on the contrary, shall I put this.......IT'S BORING! There is some very nice scenery and some clever dry wit but that's about it. If it was advertised as a travelogue I would rate it a 7 but it's supposed to be a film with a plot, some drama, and for god's sake a point or a satisfying conclusion.

I read some of the comments on this board about this films and I wondered if they saw the same movie as I did.

See this film (yawn) at your own thing for sure- it really is rated correctly= G RATING! (Which most stand for GOD AWFUL BORING!)
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The uncertainty of any definition for "Caro Diario" is what makes it so special.
guedesnino17 June 2017
The uncertainty of any definition for "Caro Diario" is what makes it so special. A documentary? Film? An autobiography? A narcissistic record? Maybe a little bit of everything, but at the same time denying it all.

Speaking about "Caro diario" only loses for the pleasure of watching the film performed by the Italian Nanni Moretti in 1993. Morreti is already referenced a few years ago as a representative figure of the new phase of Italian cinema. I confess that I had only previously watched a Morreti film, being presented to the director through his Italian classes, and in which we watched "Habemus Papam" in 2011.

"Caro Diário" is a unique work that is done through three episodes with an autobiographical character and in dialogue with the documentary. Moretti could run the risk of doing something dangerously narcissistic, but by having a look, writing and personality so interesting, "Caro" turns into a jocular free movie to mock its own author, from His homeland, his friends, the public ... The mosaic of the world that circulates Moretti is so true that in several moments the reciprocity and familiarity of situations not only cross the protagonist of this story, but also the one that watches. As, for example, we do not identify with the inability of physicians to listen to their patients, but, in contrast, the doctors' ability to speak and recite medicines that do not help our illnesses, especially in Responsibility for healing.

References are not always pleasant, as they generally tend to reduce the merit of people, in the case of Moretti, is sincere how much Woddy Allen inspired the director or is only personal connections of the public, since in various moments of the film, we have Memory and familiarity of typical approaches to Allen's autobiographical films, such as his direct narrative, his insertion as a man and character, his sarcastic comments, the division of chapters using nominative posters, the ability to laugh at himself, and endings that always follow The opposite of expected or desired.

The use of a soundtrack that at different times is something that arises externally, and that ends up influencing or creating moments of the music itself, a dialogue between character and melody, work excellently and much say of the relation and influence of Latin rhythms or Of old songs in Moretti's lineup. One of the most beautiful moments of the film is Moretti's homage to Italian filmmaker Paolo Pasolini, a motorcycle (scooter) to the place where the director was murdered to the sound of Korn's concert Keith Jarrett.

The wasp: vehicle for only one person. The island: a metaphor for the individual, solitude. The doctor: professional who takes care of the body of each individual; Every very particular body of each person. The titles of each part in which the Daily Diaries divide are, in some way, a notion of the individual, of the particular, as a diary also does. Here, however, it is not an intimate narrative: Moretti may be egocentric, but this does not make him self-absorbed. His idiosyncratic, peculiar way is, in fact, a way that could be anyone's; We notice it in Moretti simply because he exposes himself.

Both the photography and the lighting are punctual, not going beyond what is necessary so little innovation, in the specific lighting is notorious the use of natural light, which greatly collaborates in the creation of a documentary and biographical character very close to the street documentaries or programs The first chapter, which uses an interesting camera work, both for the movement and the break of open and closed plans, this first part, refers very much to the television programs, which usually Present the neighborhoods of a large city through a personality.

"Caro diario" is mainly a conversation between the director and the audience, which creates an opportunity for intimacies that we can rarely experience, either through documentaries or the various film genres. A film of sensitivity even when dead seams, even when it is set inside out. A diary that we help to write and that certainly is a pleasure to accompany. Congratulations Moretti!
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gavin694221 March 2016
Nanni Moretti directs himself playing himself in this wry look at life. Presented in three chapters, Moretti uses the experiences of traveling on his motor-scooter, cruising with his friend around a set of remote islands in search of peace to finish his new film and consulting doctor after doctor to cure his annoying rash to cast a humorous look at his life and those around him.

I don't know if I got out of this what I was supposed to, but I really enjoyed the exploration of film in this travelogue sort of way. Jennifer Beals? "Henry"? Things you do not expect to find when traveling around Italy. And I really liked the attempt to get advanced information on soap operas. That was pretty clever.
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Dear Diary
jboothmillard30 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die has been very useful to find great films I have never seen before, and sometimes even films that I either forgot all about, or missed the opportunity to watch, and this is one of the films I could have seen but didn't. Basically this is pretty much an autobiography as Golden Globe nominated director Nanni Moretti plays himself and tells his own story in three chapters, taken from extracts of his diary. Part one sees him riding a scooter through the streets of a near empty Rome, visiting architectures and monuments, his critiques of Hollywood and Italian films - including the repetitive playing of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and a chance meeting with Flashdance actress Jennifer Beals. Part two sees Nanni heading for the Aeolian Islands, travelling to Lipari visiting his friend Gerardo (Renato Carpentieri), then moving to the Salinda Islands after tourist problems, then moving again after irritation to Stromboli where he gets hooked into more soap operas, and again moving to Alicudi which has no electricity and lacks water. Part three sees him suffering a disease and insomnia, in real life as well, going through various doctors who give him different opinions and diagnoses, and finally X-rays show he has a lung problem with a treatable tumour, and it concludes with him finding a medical encyclopedia and having a sarcastic toast. Also starring Giovanna Bozzolo as Actor in Italian Film, Sebastiano Nardone as Actor in Italian Film, Antonio Petrocelli as Actor in Italian Film, Giulio Base as Car Driver, Italo Spinelli as On the Wall at Spinaceto, Alexandre Rockwell, Carlo Mazzacurati as Film Critic, Raffaella Lebboroni as First Salina Couple, Marco Paolini as First Salina Couple, Claudia Della Seta as Second Salina Couple, Lorenzo Alessandri as Second Salina Couple, Valerio Magrelli as Dermatologist, Roberto Nobile as Dermatologist, Sergio Lambiase as Dermatologist and Antonio Neiwiller as The Mayor of Stromboli. Being based on the director's own experiences this is the most conventional of films, and that is why for most of the way it is interesting, most of the good stuff comes from the sights of the landscapes and cities on the journey, and the real life illness part gives it some poignancy, so overall while I didn't understand all of it, it is a watchable biographical comedy drama. It won the Golden Globe for Best Film, and it was nominated for Best Original Score for Nicola Piovani. Very good!
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Italian adventure
billcr1218 March 2012
Ninno Morretti hops on go his Vespa and the first segment of this traveling diary, ventures throughout Rome to different neighborhoods, encountering a variety of interesting people along the way, including Jennifer Beals of Flashdance fame which Morretti says changed his life forever. He stops in stops in a cinema and watches the bloody American film Henry: portrait of a serial killer and is disgusted by it and berates a critic who gave the violent saga a positive review.

Segment two of the diary is Ninni' s venture to the nearby islands by cruise ship. He meets a mother and father who describe in full detail the spotty training of their young son. What follows is rapid fire shots of adults at phone booths trying in vain to get the kids who answer to bring parent to the phone. Overindulgent mommies and daddies dominate the island portion of the diary. Morretti also visits Stromboli's volcano. Alicudi is the last island, totally isolated, without electricity and filled with hermits. The third and final chapter is the doctors where Morretti undergoes chemotherapy for cancer. H's also suffers from severe itching on his hands and feet and proceeds to visit several doctors for a cure, trying every type of medicine possible. He finally gets an answer at the end.
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Cinema for Humans !
octeka28 November 2011
Caro Diario is one my favorite films. The effortless narration of Moretti makes you forget you're watching a film. It feels rather like listening to familiar thoughts.

The vespa scenes are amazing...

This film concentrates all the ingredients of European cinema at just the right portions. The honesty of this film makes it so much more than it might appear to be. Moretti "elevates" the viewer to his place and I think this is wonderful (apart from difficult). I find Caro Diario simple, sensitive, interesting, amusing, romantic, thought provoking, funny (I could go on ..) and therefore believe it deserves our appreciation.

If you're a classic Hollywood blockbuster buff this might not appeal to you, still if there's any film that might take you to the other side this is it.

… after all this is cinema for humans.
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Ignore the above, you have to understand Italy
chelsea_danny7 April 2005
I have to disagree with the review from owenmoney. Caro Diario is a good film: but it isn't Hollywood, it isn't a britflick, it isn't a film made to do business outside of Italy and at a stretch Europe. Hard to believe I know!

This film is full of in-jokes that only Italians or people who have lived there will get. The boy Gianni (I can't spell his surname but I'm sure he'll forgive me) now spends a lot of time organising people to hold hands around buildings in political protests: I haven't read the Italian papers for a while but I suspect he harbours certain aspirations. He is essentially playing himself or his public persona because he's at times long-winded but generally entertaining.

It's a film for people with an interest in Italy. The subtle things that are so clear to a foreigners probably passed over the heads of those on set, which is what makes it so endearing. But don't rent it because the Incredibles was out or because you feel sophisticated in watching something with subtitles.
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a personal, original and nice film
gemma-520 August 1999
Nanni Moretti is able to made his film using his personal point of view about his life that is not very different of the people´s ordinary life. Caro diario is an artistic film that have elements of contemporary art: the ordinary life as art, some pages of his diary as a film.
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