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on 25 June 2015
Amongst the films that pertain to the Dogme manifesto, ‘Italian for Beginners’ appears to me as the most accessible and uplifting. In fact, those rules are soon forgotten once this delightfully heart-warming comedy captures our imagination, with its wry but natural humour and fascinatingly quirky but very human characterisations. It is a deeply satisfying experience that should leave anyone in a warm, life-affirming glow.

Particularly stimulating is the insightful way the story gradually introduces its protagonists, as realistically as how a visiting stranger slowly gets acquainted with the inhabitants of a new place. Anders W. Berthelsen, who plays the temporary pastor to this far-flung town, perfectly embodies an outsider’s awkwardness in unfamiliar surroundings, and by focusing on him to begin with, the film compels us to get to know the townsfolk just the same way as he does. Like making new friends while on holiday, we begin to progressively fathom these characters beyond their superficial peculiarities, until they become as endearing as intimate companions are. That bond we develop with these characters is strong enough to generate a lasting emotion as the movie concludes, which is akin to parting a pal after a great time together.

The largely improvised performances are as realistic as they come, and so is the unscripted dialogue. ’Italian for Beginners’ is comical without trying to be so, effortlessly drawing humour from real people in realistic situations, who are given centre stage in an understated directorial approach that Lone Scherfig is widely admired for. Some may see the two concurrent deaths in the storyline as too convenient for the plot and question their authenticity in a Dogme movie. That, I think, is being too pedantic, because the passing of these two insufferable characters not only brings much needed relief to their daughters, but plenty of hilarity to the proceedings too.
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on 3 August 2015
Sadly I didnt read the details of this "film" I thought I was buying Italian for Beginners ie a course in Italian for me a beginner...when it arrived it caused great laughter especially when I found out not only is is a romantic comedy but it is in Danish...! with English subtitles... on the poitive side when i do get around to watching it... maybe my non existant Danish will improve...? Grazie Mille.... Paolo.
2 people found this helpful
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 July 2004
This is one of my favourite films of recent years. The characters are all sympathetic and all vulnerable, astray, lost.
They come together in the evening-class Italian lessons, which provide escape and, in a limited way, friendship. It all moves towards a gently joyous ending, but there are hard moments on the way. In places it is very funny, but its dominant characteristic is tenderness of an absolutely unsentimental kind. The dogme approach allows a matter-of-fact understatement which adds to the film's power, and the result is totally compelling.
10 people found this helpful
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on 23 April 2018
noy able to view scenes
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on 5 June 2017
Not impressed by the dvd
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on 1 September 2016
Very sweet film. Fun and interesting.
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on 19 August 2015
item arrived quickly and as described
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on 18 December 2015
Fantastic product and great price. Thank you
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on 3 December 2014
Touching and funny, sad and full of hope. Great film!
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on 10 July 2012
Charming, funny. Although it is in some places slow going, it never looses the attention of the viewer. A proof that a simple story of ordinary people can tell so much of human relations. Worth its low price indeed.
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