Mid-August Lunch (English Subtitled) NR

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(65) IMDb 7/10

The charismatic Gianni Di Gregorio (co-writer of the smash hit Gomorrah), stars in his directorial debut--an utterly charming tale of great food, feisty ladies and unlikely friendships during a very Roman holiday. Broke, and armed with only a glass of wine and a wry sense of humor, middle-aged Gianni resides with his 93-year-old mother in their ancient apartment. The condo debts are mounting, but if Gianni looks after the building manager's mother during the Pranzo di Ferragosto (Italy's biggest summer holiday, and the Feast of the Assumption), all will be forgiven. Then the manager also shows up with an auntie, and then a doctor friend appears with his mother in tow.... Can Gianni keep four such lively mamas well fed and happy in these cramped quarters?

Starring:
Valeria De Franciscis, Marina Cacciotti
Runtime:
1 hour 16 minutes

Mid-August Lunch (English Subtitled)

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Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto)

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Product Details

Genres Drama, International, Comedy
Director Gianni Di Gregorio
Starring Valeria De Franciscis, Marina Cacciotti
Supporting actors Maria Calě, Grazia Cesarini Sforza, Alfonso Santagata, Luigi Marchetti, Biagio Ursitti, Petre Rosu, Gianni Di Gregorio, Marcello Ottolenghi
Studio Zeitgeist Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Charming, funny, wonderful movie.
Charmaine D. Roth
Gianni's quandary - how to live and provide social services to the elderly with very little money - is also one that faces the Italian government.
Book lover -Philadelphia
More proof that Italians have a profoundly reflective and realistic view of human nature.....and they're great film makers as well.
James Lupori

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Loves the View VINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: DVD
Here's a gem. It will take 75 minutes of your time and leave you smiling.

Gianni Di Gregorio plays the primary caretaker for an elderly mother. Money is tight and they face eviction from their condo in Rome. To keep the wolves from the door they agree to take in the condo representative's senior mother for the holiday weekend.

One elderly guest becomes three and Gianni moves a lawn chair to his terrace to sleep. Everyday life in this cramped condo includes making a macaroni casserole and sharing a somewhat working TV. The senior women are somewhat stand offish at first but after an elegant lunch (wonderfully procured) don't want to leave.

I've outlined the story, but to get the heart, you have to see it. It's beautifully written and acted.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on November 13, 2010
Format: DVD
This small little movie will surprise you. It clocks in at only 75 minutes, but even that 'light filling' will leave you satisfied all day. In fact, at the 45-minute mark I suddenly became aware of the perma-smile plastered across my face. I suspect it'll have that type of effect on most viewers.

Star/writer/director Gianni Di Gregorio was responsible for the screenplay of 2009's sleeper art-house hit, Gomorrah (The Criterion Collection). His 'Pranzo di Ferragosto' (literally, lunch on the Italian holiday celebrated on August 15th) couldn't be further removed from Gomorrah. Far from that film's intertwined tales of the Neapolitan crime syndicate, Ferragosto's focus is around Gianni (the writer/director himself, whose hangdog profile is perfectly cast here), his aging but spry mother, and the apartment they share in Rome.

Over the course of the film's first-half, down-on-his-luck Gianni finds himself tending to an ever-increasing roster of women pensioners, as one Roman after another sees Gianni as the perfect way to temporarily dump responsibility and flee the city. The second-half of the film is where the treat happens: the camera mostly stays in the apartment as the woman chatter away and slowly bond. What becomes clear: this is a group of individuals simply starved for companionship and the opportunity for idle, pleasant talk...the stuff of day-to-day life. When the time comes to leave, well, that's when the movie's real payoff happens. You won't easily forget it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Massaadi on April 19, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I had a great time watching this movie! I ended up seeing it three times in two days! The characters were adorable!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Yogesh. Pama on September 13, 2010
Format: DVD
This is a wonderfully amusing, gentle gem of a film with a tremendous music score to boot.

It is extra-ordinary without trying to be and the main actor (writer/director) is perfect for the part. His acceptance of his less than perfect circumstances is overshadowed only by his unsentimental compassion for his surroundings.

It is a tribute to life in the very best sense of the word, as it accentuates all the things that finally matter.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2010
Format: DVD
Writer/director Gianni Di Gregorio is also the star of this delightful little film about loneliness, tolerance, and seeing the silver lining. The film glows with a richness of spirit that is very satisfying and humorous and uplifting. Apparently Pranzo di Ferragosto (or Feast of Assumption) is that holiday in mid August when all Italians head for the shore to get away from the heat. Gianni lives in Rome with his very elderly and demanding mother (Valeria De Franciscis), broke, with mounting tabs at the grocers and the winery, but he prides himself in his culinary skills with which he keeps his mother satisfied. He spends his days shopping and sipping wine with his old friend Viking (Luigi Marchetti). When his friend and condo manager Alfonso (Alfonso Santagata) pays a visit to remind Gianni how he is behind in his rent and obligations for the condo, Gianni is depressed but Alfonso has a plan: take care of his mother (Marina Cacciotti) during the weekend of Pranzo di Ferragosto and Gianni's debts will be forgiven. Gianni agrees as does his mother, but when Alfonso arrives with his mother in tow he also brings his aunt (Maria Cali) who also needs a place to stay in Alfonso's absence. The local doctor (Marcello Ottolenghi) pays a house call to check on Gianni and his mother and in passing asks Gianni to look after HIS mother (Grazia Cesarini Sforza), too! This leaves Gianni with a full house, a shared television, minimal beds, but they all make do and with the help of his old friend Viking the two to entertain the three old ladies. They cook a fine mid-August meal and the old lades dress up and dance, having more fun than they have had since their youth.

It is a slight story but one told with a warmth and compassion that is endearing to experience. For light but tender entertainment this film is a major winner! Grady Harp, October 10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By amazonka on August 15, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very warm and funny tale with wonderful cast. Some "cooking" moments were so inspiring that after watching the movie I ran to get groceries to cook some Italian dishes. The DVD's booklet comes with 2 recipes from Mid-August Lunch: Filetti di persico con patate and Pasta al forno.
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