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The Best Of Youth

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Product Details

  • Actors: Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Adriana Sti, Sonia Bergamasco, Fabrizio Gifuni
  • Directors: Marco Tullio Giordana
  • Writers: Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli
  • Producers: Angelo Barbagallo, Gianfranco Barbagallo
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 7 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C1VB8M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,797 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Best Of Youth" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the award-winning epic tradition of The Godfather and Cold Mountain, The Best Of Youth has wowed critics and earned honors at numerous fi lm festivals worldwide. As Italy explodes in an era of social unrest, a single ill-fated incident sends the lives of equally idealistic brothers Nicola and Matteo Carati careening in opposite directions. Divided by politics but bonded by blood, the next 40 years will find the brothers' divergent paths intersecting through some of the most tumultuous events in recent history! A stunning cinematic achievement - you don't want to miss this incredible motion picture!

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368 minutes of Italian TV miniseries--yes, that is indeed six hours' worth--comes unspooling in The Best of Youth, a stirring and beautiful experience. The film needs its running time to immerse us in the world of the Carati family from 1966 to near the present day. Two brothers are the primary focus: Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio), a responsible medical student, and Matteo (Alessio Boni), a troubled soldier. After a youthful road trip, their paths diverge, but each is carried along by the changing, sometimes violent, political weather of Italy in the 1970s and '80s. Life issues surge and ebb, with the increasing sense that Matteo is a lost soul, beyond even the help of the luminous woman (unforgettable Maya Sansa) who comes into his life.

Truth be told, The Best of Youth has some of the limitations of made-for-TV fare, from the simplicity of its themes to its cheap-looking makeup. (Those beards are not convincing.) But by the time you've spent a couple of hours with these characters, you're deeply invested in their joys and sorrows. At that point the measured pace begins to feel like the rhythm of life, and the people onscreen a mirror of ourselves. It's probably true that the cultural references and specific historic events will have more resonance for Italians than other viewers, but everything translates. Director Marco Tullo Giordana maintains the tone by allowing details to accumulate, and the location shooting, including a stint at the cinematically rich island of Stromboli, is consistently rich (his sampling of the music from Jules and Jim feels like a shortcut somehow, but who could argue that the music isn't perfectly in key with the melancholy mood?). The final act delivers an emotional coup de grace that has been thoroughly earned. And you'll feel like you earned it, too, having spent six hours with this moving film. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Every time we watch it we're sad when it's over.
Thomas Jordan
The film explores the relationships between its characters fully, exposing the passion and pathos that make life rich.
Melissa Johnston
It has marvelous actors, a great script and beautiful cinematography.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Andersen TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2005
Format: DVD
It takes some time to get into the story of this film, and the filmmakers take their time telling the story. With most films, that would be a criticism, but in this case it is a signal of what is distinctive and wonderful about this film -- easily one of the most worthwhile and compelling fictions ever created for the big screen. After about an hour and a half I was completely hooked and there was no chance I wasn't going to stay and watch both parts of this six-hour film, which is by turns touching, comic, and devastating. (It is not, by the way, that the first hour and a half are slow, but that they are designed to give you time to get to know the characters -- rest assured that the film is never boring -- unless the very idea of a subtitled film about people from another country bores you.) Liberated from the need to tell their story in a two or three hour scope, the filmmakers opted to make it not so much about a single event or action that affects the lives of a few people but about the people themselves as their lives unfold in complex and unpredictable ways in connection with the events taking place in Italy and in their families over a period of three decades: a wonderful cast of characters played by remarkable actors who show them convincingly aging and changing over the course of about thirty years. We have time to get to know them, and care about them as people, to the point where they become like family. It is hard to credit before watching this film the claims by numerous critics that after six hours they didn't want it to be over -- but in my case at the end I absolutely agreed.Read more ›
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin on December 28, 2005
Format: DVD
This Italian film is a masterpiece, one of the greatest works I've ever seen in my life. I'm glad I invested myself in the film when it was played in two parts at a local theater this summer. Director Marco Tullio Giordana's epic is six hours long, but attending the film was an incredibly moving and special experience. It's the story of two very different brothers, Nicola and Matteo, and how their family coped with the last 40 years of social, personal and political upheaval in Italy. The lead actors, Luigi Lo Cascio and Alessio Boni, each give powerful and believeable performances as their characters mature over 40 years. The scope of this film's story is gigantic, filled with fascinating, well-defined characters, and it never steps wrong. It has marvelous actors, a great script and beautiful cinematography. Most of my favorite movies this year featured some big quest or journey, an attempt to discover something new or find a way to grow, and THE BEST OF YOUTH featured the grandest journeys, the most interesting people, the most beautiful sites, the deepest tragedies and the most fulfilling discoveries. The act of going to the theater to see it - making two trips in two weeks - became an endeavor, and the movie rewards those who invest their time in it. This is the best movie I saw in 2005.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on September 13, 2006
Format: DVD
This six-hour made-for-TV movie is a drama about a middle class Italian family that covers over 35 years of modern Italian history. Its central characters are two brothers of different temperaments, whose lives take very different paths. The overall message of the film, that life is beautiful, is played out against beautifully photographed travelogue footage that ranges from Turin to Palermo, with side trips to Norway, and a cast of often strikingly photogenic performers. More important, the film's dramatic conflicts, which hold our interest over the length of six hours, include a political dimension as one of the many characters becomes involved in a radical leftist cell, whose mission is to target and assassinate members of the professional and academic elite. The film has been praised for its refusal to simply sensationalize its subject but to humanize all those affected (would-be assassin, potential victim, and police inspector) and represent them with some psychological truth rather than stereotyping them.

During the course of the film, a new generation emerges to soften the harsher legacy of recent history and to demonstrate that if life is beautiful it is in its returning promise that the failures of the past need not discourage our hopes for the future. While all of the cast bring to life characters that are plausibly real, the performance of Alessio Boni as the darkly tormented brother Matteo is a standout. The music score ranges from pop music and jazz of the 1960s to haunting compositions by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. It's been a long while since we've seen really great cinema from Italy. May this be the beginning of a new wave.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By EMAN NEP on May 20, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I guess that's the easiest way I could sum this movie up: It's a movie about life. Sounds a bit plain, doesn't it?

The Best of Youth, though, is anything but plain and boring. It tells the story of a family in Italy from the 1960's all the way into the year 2000. As you can imagine, alot happens in 40 years: floods, riots, people die, are born, part ways, meet new friends and so forth.

But what really drew me into this 6 hour masterpiece were the characters. There are no heroes, there are no anti-heroes--just people, like you and me. The story of Matteo and Nicola could be any one of us.

Speaking of characters, I haven't been this attached to the characters since I last watched an episode of Friends. The actors don't play their parts, they ARE their parts. If I saw the actor who played Matteo on the streets of Italy, I would be like, "Hey, it's Matteo!" The acting was THAT good. You'll go through a full spectrum of emotions with them throughout the course of this film.

As for the pace of the movie, it takes a while to get to know the characters, the setting, but after about an hour you'll feel comfortable with it all. The plot twists are scattered and generously spaced, making them happen at just the right moment without feeling forced. I have to admit that some of the plot twists may not be anything new or innovative (alot of the plot twists you could see on any given day on a Soap Opera), but the whole of the movie is so well done you won't be able to care less. There are so many powerful and moving scenes in this movie--I'd love to tell them to you, but then I'd ruin your experience, wouldn't I?

I can tell you one I liked, though:

There is a scene in this movie where one of the characters says, "I don't believe in exclamation points." Let me tell you, this is a GREAT movie, and I do believe in exclamation points!!!
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Topic From this Discussion
Soundtrack to The Best of Youth
Ben, is it House of the Rising Sun by The Animals?
Mar 5, 2010 by A Reader |  See all 13 posts
Probably not if bought in the US. The product details only say English subtitles. The 2-3 times I've rent it for $1 I don't recall other subtitle options,but am not entirely 100% sure.
Tim Jaqua
Oct 12, 2009 by Poco fan |  See all 3 posts
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