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on 24 August 2011
Just saw this today. Lovely film from the director of Mid-August Lunch in which he again plays the leading role - a man turning 60 who feels his life slipping away from him - now he is a man that no-one under 30 really notices. Has the same pace, acute observation, the love of locale and the sense of Italian society as the earlier film (but many more pretty girls!) however maybe not quite the wit and humour. There was one titter and one genuine laugh from the audience so it is not a comedy in the traditional sense. And it is a sadder film too - I won't reveal any of the plot but I left feeling I needed cheering up. But then that might have something to do with my age!

A very entertaining 90 minutes, though, and if I hadn't liked his earlier film so much I would have given it 5 stars.
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on 9 February 2012
It is a paradox that director/lead Gianni di Gregorio has, with "Mid-August Lunch" and this, "The Salt of Life", found success and acclaim playing a character called Gianni in his sixties for whom life appears to be stagnating or slipping by. "The Salt of Life" has many of the characteristics which made "Mid-August lunch" such a joy - the honesty, warmth, wonderful acting and resonance for many of us. However it is not quite as endearing and lacks one crucial aspect - "Mid-August Lunch" was a loving paean to Rome in all its glory and sun-baked beaut while here the setting of the Roman rione (or district) of Trastevere is less prominent and less celebrated and simply where the characters live.

Despite the similarity of the names of the characters of Gianni and his mother Valeria, the names are everyman names - here Gianni's mother lives in much greater splendour and Gianni is married (just about) and has a daughter. Di Gregorio's hangdog expression is still a delight and the projection for his consistent "virtues and flaws" as an ex says. While the film is quietly political about the situation for young people in Italy today, the real focus is on Gianni and his relationship with his mother, other females and, although less important, his wife and daughter. Gianni is the man for whom no one has a bad word and we will him success and happiness.

Overall, "The Salt of Life" is even more wistful than "Mid August Lunch" and its humour less vivid. While it did not leave as marked an impression as its predecessor, I recommend it strongly.
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on 10 February 2014
In the same style as his previous, the 2008 film 'Mid-August Lunch', Gianni Di Gregorio again directs and takes the principle role. He has cast himself as a dispirited husband in his 50s dominated by his mother in her nineties, stuck in a marriage he does not believe in and wishing for a last-gasp romance. He is unhappy with an anxious look about him on the lookout for potential conquests and always in the background his mother constantly demanding attention. You cannot help but be reminded in some way of a similarity with Silvio Berlusconi. Is this a commentary of the Italian male psyche and the eventual onslaught of old age? Another gentle comedic look at the late stage of life.
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on 21 August 2014
This is a DVD which I would never tire of, warm and full of humour. Not belly laughs but subtle and very believable. Gianni is a great director and actor, love his hang dog expression and his devotion to his cunning elderly mother. Good feel film, would recommend and hope Gianni makes more and continues the tale
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on 9 January 2012
Having thoroughly enjoyed the previous film in this series, Mid-August Lunch, I enjoyed this film but was a little disappointed as I found it less amusing. Gianni and his mother are now part of a larger family, quite different from the first film, so the two films don't actually follow on from each other in that sense. I got used to this and it didn't really matter. Overall, I enjoyed watching this film, I found it entertaining but not as much as the previous film.
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on 6 October 2012
This is as Gianni di Gregorio puts it in his interview quite 'an autobiographical film'.The action of the film is slow, it flows one would say even boringly slow, but in it its hidden simple life truth: Gianni's rather sad, philosophical observations that at a certain age men like him reaching 50 s-60 s are no longer of romantic and not only ,interest to younger women,women in prime of their lives.Observing some women be in while shopping in the market or women walking on the streets of Rome or having a drink in a bar he notices that some young women no longer reciprocate his smile or greetings or simple 'thank u'.He shares his observations/comments with his old friend Alfonso who has completely opposite view in these matters. Gianni's life revolves around demanding,eccentric mother ,not so affectionate wife and his daughter's ongoing relationship problems.We witness daily, ordinary life of people in Rome.Warm and natural film ,problems and life issues/situation with which many people can identify.Even the actors keep their authentic, original names on screen.I watched the film with a real pleasure and would recommend it : )
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 April 2012
Saw - and enjoyed - this Italian comedy drama recently at our local Arts Centre film club. This rich slice of late middle aged Gianni's (Gianni de Gregorio, who is also the film's director) life is one of being ignored by his wife, avoiding his eccentric mother and being jealous of all his friends who seem to still have what it takes with the ladies...

Modestly staged, filmed mostly in one cramped town house and with a script that seems at times to be ad-libbed, there's a certain enthusiasm about it all, a relish for life and one of wishing for the finer things in life.

Subsequently, he tries to chat up the ladies but the smallest of obstacles upset his plans, including his mother's thirst for innocent (but costly) gambling with her friends. One of the comedic highlights is when Gianni is told that a little blue pill is all he needs for an invigorated love life - and he doesn't realise exactly how that might come about. It's tastefully done, I have to add!

Seemably using much the same cast as he did with 'Mid August Lunch' Di Gregorio keeps it 'in the family', low key and undoubtedly, cheap.

This little film won't pick up the awards at Cannes and can seem just a little disorganised, but its quiet charm warmed over all that went to see it. Recommended as something a little different and not too heavy - and an alternative to a trashy rom-com if you're renting.
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on 14 August 2013
After watching a bit of this on TV, I though it would be nice to see the whole film, and so bought it. It is a charming little film and great for me as I am trying to learn italian and so is helpful with that aim in mind. Quite amusing movie and I nice change from the style of filming that one is use to from English and American movies.
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on 21 November 2012
Lifesaver... we missed this in the local theater and have been trying to find a way to see it for a couple months now. Thanks for the prompt shipping and excellent product condition.
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on 5 June 2013
An interesting movie - nothing of great importance happens, but it is a study in relationships. Well-acted, amusing, and gives a lot of food for thought!
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