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Dino Ossola, a small-time real estate agent who dreams of bigger things ; Serena Ossola, his teenage daughter who dates a spoilt rich brat ; Carla Bruneschi, an actress who has given up her career to marry a wealthy businessman ; Massimiliano Giovanni Bernaschi, her husband, a powerful player ; Massimiliano Bernaschi, the troubled son of the Bernaschis' ; Roberta Ossola, a psychologist, Dino's second wife ; Donato Russomano, a brilliant drama teacher who is stuck on Carla ; Luca Ambrosini, a teenager frowned upon by others ; an anonymous cyclist... They are all shareholders of the human capital. Errr... all? Really?Written by
"Our models are all wrong!"; or, One man's capital gains are another man's capital crime,
An involving drama from Italy, relocated from someplace like Greenwich, CT (the setting of the novel it's based on) to somewhere near Lake Como—no problem there It takes place during the mini–financial crisis of 1997, and it's one of those slightly tricky movies where the main characters each get a "chapter" to themselves, so the tone can vary from scene to scene.
First, an overeager investor plays up to a slick hedge-fund guy (Fabrizio Gifuni of "The Best of Youth") when their teenage kids start dating; this comes across like a broad Alberto Sordi comedy from the 60s. Next, the hedge-fund guy's regretful wife, a former actress (a great performance by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), tries to reimagine her past while she tours a derelict theater, a haunting scene that recalls Fellini
Finally, picking up from a trigger event in the opening chapter—a cyclist is run off the road by a speeding SUV—the investor's intense teenage daughter (a great performance by Matilde Gioli) tries to make everything right, and almost succeeds. This "chapter" is played pretty straight, and it moves right along. There's one of those moments where you may ask yourself, "Why would she ?" (the only possible answer being "Because if she didn't, there wouldn't be a movie!"), and the ending may seem a little rushed, but otherwise the pacing's pretty tight, and, unless you're a raving free-marketeer, the social commentary is right on the money. Interesting that movie plots can be outsourced now, along with everything else .
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