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Mid-August Lunch [DVD] [2008]

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

Price: £7.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Valeria De Franciscis, Marina Cacciotti, Maria Cali, Grazia Cesarini Sforza, Alfonso Santagata
  • Directors: Gianni di Gregorio
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Dec. 2009
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002MGJSXA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,242 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A charming and unpretentious tale, Mid-August Lunch is whisper-thin and delicately balanced. The main character, Gianni, played by Di Gregorio himself, is in his 60s but still lives with his mother who is forced to look after three other elderly ladies. On the eve of the mid-summer Italian holiday of Ferragosto, Gianni is approached by building manager Luigi (Alfonso Santagata) and blackmailed into looking after Luigi s mother for two nights in exchange for forgiving certain tenant debts. But when Luigi comes to the apartment, he s brought his aunt Maria (Maria Calì) as well as his mother, Marina (Marina Cacciotti). Soon after, Gianni s doctor friend Marcello (Marcello Ottolenghi) pays a call, asking if he can leave his mother, Grazia (Grazia Cesarini Sforza), for just one night. The four women, each with their own strong personality, prove a handful, but Di Gregorio s approach is true to life, avoiding platitudes or exaggeration as he spins a warm-hearted, humorous saga.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A very charming piece that follows the misfortunes of a middle-aged man who looks after his mother over the course of a long bank holiday weekend. He is essentially indolent, still living with mum in his sixties, gradually getting into greater debt, but happy. One by one, the landlord and a doctor friend off load elderly relatives so they can get out of the city for some fun. The elderly ladies all argue and our hero has to hold them all together with fine cooking, plump beds and general entertainment. He gradually espies an opportunity and his view changes.

I loved this film. It's a very gentle piece that is well written, directed and wonderfully acted by all the cast. The manner in which the son begins to exploit the old ladies, acts as diplomat between, exhausts himself and eventually begins to warm to them is so well presented in such a excellently crafted and beautifully observed manner. It is a very rewarding film, well worth watching.
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Format: DVD
We (two adults and one 12 year old) all loved this film - such a simple idea - very amusing with several laugh out loud moments. One to show to all ages. We also all enjoyed the interviews with the director and the cast - very entertaining! Only negative point is the cover picture of the DVD doesn't do it justice. Other than that it is a great film. Also great for those learning Italian, as the speech isn't too fast and the subtitles match the speech very well.
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Format: DVD
This was a humorous movie and in some ways very touching. It was nice to see the main character (Gianni) respect and take care of his mother. He never lost his patience and was always kind. The older women guests were strong personalities, very real and funny in their own cute ways. When you watch the interviews, you will see just how real they were. Great story line, very creative. If you like things "Italian" or have been to Italy, you will especially relate and enjoy the story. If you want to experience a wholesome and entertaining movie, this is for you. Our entire family loved the film and we were sorry when it ended. The dialogue is in Italian, but following the english subtitles was easy.
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Format: DVD
This short film is an authentic glimpse of Italian life. It's gentle, affectionate portraits, untainted by sentiment or Hollywood glamour, have a richness of their own. The simple story is of a middle-aged man ( Gianni di Gregorio, also director ) looking after his mother in a small apartment, who finds himself coping with three elderly women for the August bank holiday. The tensions that develop are delightfully resolved. The film is completely natural and seems to be unscripted; it is very funny in parts and the final credits are a minor masterpiece...don't miss them. It certainly ranks in my top ten films. The only criticism I can find to say is that the cover of the DVD does not do justice to the film.
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Format: DVD
This film had me in its thrall from beginning to end. The plot is simple, Gianni pays off debts and considerable rent arrears by caring for the mothers of his creditors. A subtle mayhem follows; especially when Gianni attempts to follow the instructions of care to the letter. The old ladies will simply not have it! - the results are comic but very very human. Also watch out for the food being prepared and eaten, had my mouth watering. A lovely film.
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Format: DVD
This is a charming, gentle, humorous film, not very long - about 75 minutes - and set almost entirely in a small apartment in Rome. The hero, played by Gianni de Gregorio, who also wrote the screenplay and directed, looks after his very elderly mother. He is kindly and patient but has financial worries and faces the wrath of the other tenants in the building because he regularly fails to pay the upkeep bills to which they must all attend. As a result, unwillingly he agrees to look after the administrator's mother for two nights while the administrator goes off with his girlfriend. Mother and also aunt arrive, and then coincidentally the mother of his doctor also - the doctor has to be in the hospital overnight. Thus four characterful old ladies, who are not necessarily going to get on with each other, are with him. This leads to many unexpected and amusing complications. Finally, they all have a special meal - the 'mid-August Lunch' ('Pranzo al Ferragosto', the Italian title) together in the apartment, with an outcome which suits everyone, and the film ends happily.

It is extremely well acted - indeed, there is no visible 'acting' at all ; it all seems to happen quite naturally and is totally convincing. With a light touch, the film explores the reality of old age for the old ladies - the need to compromise when you don't really wish to, the attentions of over-solicitious younger relatives (the doctor), the frustration of physical incapacity and the memory of a time when everything was easier. It is a very Italian film, and one in which food is frequent and important. From beginning to end it is absorbing and, in its unpretentious way, very enjoyable. Warmly recommended.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Mid-August Lunch" is a charming and quirky movie. It is very slow, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a look into small-village life in Italy, where kindness pays off!
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