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Days and Clouds (2009)

Margherita Buy , Paolo Sassanelli , Silvio Soldini  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Margherita Buy, Paolo Sassanelli, Antonio Albanese, Giuseppe Battiston, Fabio Troiano
  • Directors: Silvio Soldini
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BXWWOW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,688 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Days and Clouds" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

How a marriage copes with severe economic challenges is the theme of Silvio Soldini s superb, moving and thought-provoking film.Few films have dealt more incisively or compassionately with marriage than Silvio Soldini s Days and Clouds. In Genoa, Elsa and Michele (Margherita Buy, Antonio Albanese) suddenly find themselves financially downsized, and must deal with the horror of losing apartment and face among their yuppie friends, as well as their own daughter, hard-working restaurateur, Alice (Alba Rohrwacher). They decide to conceal their plight from everyone and, as Michele becomes first an apartment renovator and then a motorcycle messenger and Elsa gives up her beloved studies for an art history degree to do secretarial work, an inevitable toll is taken on their relationship. It s a simple yet gripping story which could happen to anyone, and Soldini s finely observed, marvelously sensitive writing and direction draw you in like a subtle whirlpool. At first glimpse, Elsa and Michele seem an averagely attractive, upscale couple but, such are the magnetism and power of the performances of the actors that they grow more beautiful in their deepening humanity and you come to love them. Buy is ferociously intelligent and appealingly resilient, even going through nightmare times, while Albanese is a genuine modern hero, heartbreaking as he picks up the check at dinner party in an empty show of bravado before an appalled Elsa, and then impressively infuriated in his confrontation with friends who ve betrayed him, like his ex-business partner and in a scene in which he reluctantly tries to get a buddy to repay him for an ancient, blithely disremembered financial loan. There is, perforce, a lot of fighting here, especially between Elsa and Michele, but the combat rings emotionally true and absorbing at all times, welling up suddenly, as with the stubborn, compassionate Alice (an excellent, no-nonsense Rohrwacher) but also, as with real intimates, dissipating as suddenly into a more contemplative remorse. It s the kind of film Hollywood should be making now in these financially straitened times for Americans, giving us something we can relate to besides comic strips and commercial fluff. Even the smallest roles like two buddies who help Michele with the apartment work, their various clients, Elsa s co-workers on the restoration of a Renaissance fresco, and her new boss, who takes a quite understandable fancy to her, are sublimely cast. They all comprise the essence of cinema so lacking in so many films today: real people going through real stuff with humor and mordant fortitude. As more and more of that fresco reveals itself to our enchanted eyes, so too do these characters inner glory becomes ever more apparent in this warm, deeply rewarding work. --Film Journal International

After successfully defending her dissertation on Renaissance art, Elsa (Margherita Buy) has every reason to feel that life is her oyster. Her husband Michele (Antonio Abanese) presents her with a graduation gift -- lovely antique earrings -- then takes her home to their luxurious home in Genoa for a surprise party attended by virtually everyone she knows. There s a band, lots of food, joy overflowing. The next morning, however, she awakens to a nightmare. For two months, Michele has hidden from her that his partners forced him out of his boat-building business, and though he s been steadily looking for work, he s found nothing. And that s not the half of their problems. In trying not to worry her as she finished up her art degree, he has spent much of their remaining savings. His father s nursing home is depleting what s left. And he s mortgaged the house to pay business debts. The surprise party turns out to have been a lavish farewell to their lifestyle. In short order they lose their home, their boat, and Michele starts selling off art they ve collected on trips around the world, while Elsa s dreams of art restoration work are put on hold as she slaves away on a secretarial night shift to put food on the table. At least they have each other, you say to yourself, just as their relationship starts to slip as well. Director Silvio Soldini, best known in this country for his more lyrical, fairytale-ish look at marriage (Bread and Tulips), here does realism with hand-held cameras, and no shortage of naturalistic detail. The couple s cramped new apartment is a palpable horror; when Elsa peers out at the view, seeing only clouds in their future, you despair with her. But for Soldini even bleakness has a poetic side, and his imagery is often breathtaking. Never more so than in the film s final tableau, which elegantly connects a Renaissance fresco Elsa had been working on before the couple s fall from grace, with a strikingly similar image suggesting the possibility of a renaissance in their marriage. --National Public Radio

Critic Pick / Listed as one of top 10 Summer Art films --The New York Times

Product Description

Well-to-do, sophisticated couple, Elsa and Michele, have a 20 year-old daughter, Alice, and enough money for Elsa to leave her job and fulfill an old dream of studying art history. After she graduates, however, their lives change. Michele confesses he hasn't worked in two months and was fired by the company he founded years ago. Elsa overcomes her initial shock by pouring extra energy into facing the crisis, while Michele, exhausted by an unsuccessful job hunt, lets himself go, alternating between vivacity and apathy. The growing distance between them eventually leads to a break-up. Only when they part will they realize that they risk losing their most precious possession: the love that binds them.


WINNER Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, 2008 David di Donatello Awards (Italian Academy Awards) - 15 Nominations total
WINNER Best Actress, Moscow Intl Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION Toronto Intl Film Festival, Seattle Intl Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Newport Intl Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema (Film Society of Lincoln Center, NY)


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you really who you think you are? December 31, 2008
By Elish
Format:DVD
How closely is your job tied in with your very identity? Anyone who feels secure and deserving in their comfortable middle class lifestyle is bound to come unhinged when watching this powerful film...What happens when you lose your prestigious position and privileges and suddenly find yourself working class ? How much do our jobs and homes define who we are? If you lose that job, do you also lose your self-worth? Can you redefine yourself as working class, living where you never would have deigned to live before? Can you keep the same friends now that you can no longer afford to eat in the same restaurants?

In the current crisis, this film should resonate with everyone... How many of us are really secure, no matter what we do as professions? The acting is superb, the plot tight, and the characters resonate, as do the situations...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very contemporary topic February 20, 2009
Format:DVD
I love Italian movies and love Margarhita Buy as well. This movie is both inspiring and scary too. The realities of the world now are not those to be envied and admired. There is insecurity all around us with our employment and overall financial situation. I am fortunate to be currently employed, but this can change just as quickly as it did for Michele. Being in my late 40's is a tough time to be out looking for a job where much of my competition is with those in their 20's and 30's. I can totally understand the angst that Michele felt. I too, can understand the helplessness and anger that Elsa felt too. I can't imagine being told by a spouse that they have been out of work for 2 months and that everything in my world is now about to take a drastic move.

I highly recommend everyone see this wonderful movie !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracks on a beautiful face... June 8, 2010
Format:DVD
`Giorni e Nuvole' is a film that I had to witness twice in order to fully embrace. I was initially struck by the films poignancy, especially in this world's economic state, but I must say that it wasn't until the beautiful ending that I was wholly moved to experience the film once more, under a different light. As some have noted, the film seems to move rather slowly in parts, and that was my main concern initially. I will say that the second time through it moved along far better for I had a different outlook. It also allowed me to fully engage myself in this story and weed out moments and motives I wouldn't have noted the first time through.

Upon reflection it is easy to see that this film is about so much more that unemployment.

For me, this film deals with the stigma put on prominence and wealth. The couple that is focused on here, Elsa and Michele, are a wealthy couple who enjoy the pleasures of life. They like to travel, they own a boat, they engage in activities that suit their expensive palate. Elsa herself is engaged in restoration activities that pay her nothing but give her a feeling of self worth and self appreciation. They show an apparent loftiness of spirit, even if it is subtle, in their regard for their daughter Alice and her `low' standards with men and work. Their world is tossed upside down when Michele loses his job and they have to limit themselves financially, risking losing everything. Their relationship starts to fray, and while it is apparent that they have had issues in the past (Michele had an affair) it is the issue of money that has disbanded them completely. Even Elsa makes a comment that she would have rather he been cheating again than have lost his job. Money has defined their life and now they didn't have any.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly cloudy August 7, 2012
By Promise
Format:DVD
The cinematography is lovely. Other than that, this is a one tone film. Man loses his job and he and his wife have to do some serious downsizing. It goes from bad to worse. It is not a lot of fun to watch. I kept expecting something to happen to change the mood a bit, but it was one, long, monotonous trip down misery lane. There is one brief scene at the end which attempts to put a positive spin on the story, but it's much too little, too late. The director has a wonderful visual sensibility but has no sense of what makes a good drama. Watch it if you want to be depressed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Times are tough right now, mirroring the era of The Great Depression. Financial security is a ghost, friendships and relationships are tested by walking the razor edge of insolvency, and according to the 'popular movie' polls the escape for many is in the darkened movie houses with comic hero or animal animated mindless safety net entertainment. Not so with the very brilliant film DAYS AND CLOUDS written (with Doriana Leondeff, Francesco Piccolo, and Federica Pontremoli) and directed with immaculate attention to detail by Silvio Soldini (BREAD AND TULIPS, etc). Soldini recreates the global financial nightmare in the form of an examination of one family's fracture and consequences. It resonates despite the depressing story, offering a glimpse into the universal ties that bind us at this moment.

Elsa (Margherita Buy) is graduating from Art History and Restoration school and seems to be a woman on top of her league, complete with surprise gifts and a celebration staged by her husband Michele (Antonio Albanese). Waking up the morning after her congratulations party, Elsa is ill with a hangover, but even more shocked when Michele breaks the news to her that he has been out of work for two months, ashamed that he has lost his company and his job, hiding in the couple's boat during the day. There is no money left and the couple must face losing their home and are forced to take on menial tasks to survive. Pride prevents the couple from sharing their financial downfall with friends and with their one child - Alice (Alba Rohrwacher) who has elected not to pursue education in favor of waiting tables in a restaurant she has invested in with friends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Giorni e Nuvole
this movie is really Awesome.

it's a grown-up movie.
it's about a Real Italien couple- approximately in Their 40's.
- the situation is Real. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Todd X.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Times Made Worse
These guys portrayed in this film sure had a knack for making the worse of hard times and instead of supporting each other, tore each other apart for most of the film and barely... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Andrew J Crooker
4.0 out of 5 stars The strength of a marriage
A lovely film crowned by the fact that the marriage stays strong in the face of adversity. Wonderful, worth watching!
Published 15 months ago by Why Not
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
The only thing I liked about this movie was that it was in Italian. But I kept waiting for a climax in the film that never came. I would not watch it again.
Published 15 months ago by Amanda J Navarro
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK movie from a good director
The premise for the movie is interesting, but the execution does not fulfill the promise. It seems far fetched at times and, even after getting to the end, I am not sure what the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by tidag
1.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment with the Vendor
I chose the vendor Michael Cartamil and Co. because they claimed that the DVD disk was used but "like in new condition. Read more
Published on April 29, 2012 by Roxanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I thought this was a great movie...and, unfortunately, an all too common scenario today. What starts out as a well to do couple enjoying life turns into a marriage divided by... Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by Loraine
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and captivating human drama from Italian master filmmaker...
This realistic relationship drama with exceptional performances from all of the cast members (Antonio Albanese, Margherita Buy, Alba Rohrwacher) follows a well-to-do Italian couple... Read more
Published on January 12, 2011 by navissima
1.0 out of 5 stars Angosciante e Banale
The film is slow from start to finish. It is completely predictable, depressing and what's the moral of the story again ?
Published on May 29, 2010 by Assinie
3.0 out of 5 stars AN ITALIAN SLICE OF LIFE
This is a slice of very real life in current Italian society. Although the credit disaster isn't particularly mentioned the circumstances within the plot certainly bring that to... Read more
Published on July 4, 2009 by R. Spetrino
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