I loved this charming film with a social conscience, set on a train bound for Rome with four sets of characters, whose lives touch only incidentally or profoundly. Italian director Olmi gives us a poignant story of an elderly man touched warmly by memories that imagination has heightened to romantic melancholy. Iranian director Kiarostami follows with a vignette about a 25-year-old man meeting a 14-year-old girl from his hometown, while his employer, an Army widow, relates to him in the only way she seems to know how - by constantly berating him. Finally Ken Loach brings three noisy young football fans into the picture and embroils them in the difficulties of an Albanian family, revealing the significance of the title of the movie.
Each of the episodes is told in a kind of slow-motion (against the constant noise of the moving train and the countryside flying by the windows), the camera lingering on faces, sometimes in extended reaction shots - the scenes between the young man and the teenager being the tenderest, touching, and most delightful in the entire film. A making-of documentary on the DVD shows directors and actors achieving something nearly impossible, the creation of a movie with an international cast and *three* internationally known directors, each with a long filmography and an individual artistic vision, yet somehow working together - all with the assistance of translators. Wonderful film, with humor, sadness, and no small amount of drama.