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Italian for Beginners


Price: $29.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anders W. Berthelsen, Jesper Christensen, Anette Stovelbaek
  • Directors: Lone Scherfig
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AFBYTO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,583 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An unforgettable romantic comedy that's earned overwhelming acclaim, Italian for Beginners is a warm and playful story about seven strangers and the shared journey of discovery that changes each of their lives.
In a small, rainy suburb, a mismatched collection of opposites have signed up for an Italian class in hopes of spicing up their lives. Then, as they realize the class offers them more than just language lessons, they join together on a trip to Italy with renewed desire. Once there, these world-weary students, who thought there was nothing left to learn from life, will get an education that will change everything they know about love.

Customer Reviews

Thankfully I rented this one so as not to be stuck with it.
Heather Deitchman
As the movie began, I, like others, was thrown off a bit by the cinematic style...but the characters and themes drew me in.
Happy Girl
It will give one totally new perspective on grief, life, love, loneliness and coping.
Eugenia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Vale-Allen VINE VOICE on January 6, 2003
Format: DVD
It's initially somewhat disconcerting to watch this movie, shot as a video rather than in traditional film format. But the script and the performances are so affecting and so honest that it quickly becomes entirely engrossing. A motley-seeming collection of average people: a raging restaurant keeper with a hidden talent for language, an accommodating hairdresser with a nightmare of a mother who just happens to be terminally ill, a klutzy, good-natured young bakery worker with a horrible father, a disaffected management type and a charming Italian waitress. They all find themselves at an evening class in Italian and they manage to make connections--with themselves and with the others in the class--in humorous and bittersweet ways.
This is a very worthwhile film. Don't be put off by the oddness of the video. You'll forget about it soon enough and become entirely caught up in this wonderfully well-acted, truly touching and amusing film.
Highly recommended.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mark Mussari on October 26, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Beware the myopic reviews by certain others here: they do not get the Dogma film movement and, more importantly, they do not get this film. With its emphasis on the acting--and not special effects, smarmy scores, or other cinematic sleight of hand--the Dogma film compels us to focus on _character._ «Italian for Beginners» does just that, focusing our attention on some lonely Danish singles who find not only refuge but togetherness in their attraction to all things Italian. The great accomplishment of the film's director, Lone Scherfig, is her ability to transfer very specifically Danish cultural aspects to a broader audience. Along the way you get both hilarious and touchingly sad moments and fine acting, all around. Merely to watch the talented Anders Berthelsen's facial expressions or Peter Gantzler's timing is worth the entire price of admission. An excellent film from Denmark.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on June 18, 2004
Format: DVD
Italian For Beginners is a fantastic film, I don't see why people seem to have a problem with it. It's a movie for people who like movies and aren't bothered by things as ridiculous as the fact that it is shot with a video camera instead of on film. The script is engrossing, the characters are charming, and the locations beautiful. Don't listen to the negative comments and give this delightful little film a chance. It certainly deserves it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on July 26, 2004
Format: DVD
As usual, ingore the wildly off-base U.S. Marketing campaign. The coverbox here - sexy female legs in an exotically supine position - is both misleading and insulting. This movie spends 92%+ of its time in a provincial Danish town. The subjects are death, loneliness, and breaking out of that loneliness via tentatively made connections. It's a brilliantly done movie by Dogme 95 adherent Lone Scherfig. Consider it 'von Trier light,' but that cover box is bound to set up some for disappointment.

The Dogme style gives you a freshness you don't see in many Hollywood movies. In fact, 'Italian for Beginners' could almost pass for a home video (albeit one recorded by your Danish relatives).

For you Dogme fans:

- Pastor 'Andreas' is Anders Berthelsen, who played lead Kresten so memorably in 'Mifune.'

- Stadium restaurant manager Halfinn is 'Mifune' star Iben Hjejle's live-in partner.

- Ann Eleonora Jorgensen as Karen is - other than this movie - unknown to American audiences. A shame. Somebody hire this lady.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Horner on October 20, 2002
Format: DVD
From Denmark comes "Italian for Beginners", one of the sweetest, wisest and most enjoyable romantic comedy-dramas I have seen in a long time. Intellectually, it is closer to a dessert than a main course, but all desserts are not equal. You'll fondly remember this one. Like most romantic movies, its plot is rather farfetched. Its characters, though, are down to earth and believable - ordinary people trying to make their way through life's ups and downs with a little dignity.
In a small Danish city, six people find their lives in disarray for various reasons - two are caring for aged, ungrateful parents, one has recently lost his wife, another is about to lose his job, etc. They are not so much hopeless as they are desperate for hope. Their lives intersect in unexpected ways in an unlikely setting - a course in Italian at a local school.
Compared to its American counterparts, "Italian for Beginners" a small, sparse movie. Some viewers may not relate to the characters because none of them are larger than life. For me, their very ordinariness provides much of the movie's charm, because it makes their falling in love all the more special.
The film is in Danish and Italian with English subtitles.
GRADE: A
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By artgolfer on November 25, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
then this movie is not to be missed. Real people, ordinary people, are much more interesting than the so-called beautiful people. And how they interact in the ordinary moments in life and how they fall in love can be wonderful to watch. Contrary to what I read from another review a moment ago, I think this movie is extraordinarily uplifting! If you're a sentimental old fool like I am, you'll probably get a tear as the movie ends with the song "Don't you know?" playing in the background, as did I. What a lovely movie!!!! I just rented the VHS version but the DVD edition is going on my Christmas list--I want to OWN this film!
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