10/23/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Miramax Pictures presents
The Best of Youth (La Meglio gioventù) (2003)

Giovanna: I still have a postcard you sent me from the North Cape in '66. 'Everything that exists is beautiful.' With three exclamation points. Do you still believe that?
Nicola: I don't believe in exclamation points anymore.

- Lidia Vitale, Luigi Lo Cascio

Review By: Joel Cunningham  
Published: February 05, 2006

Stars: Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Adriana Asti, Sonia Bergamasco, Fabrizio Gifuni, Maya Sansa
Other Stars: Valentina Carnelutti, Jasmine Trinca, Andrea Tidona, Lidia Vitale, Camilla Filippi
Director: Marco Tullio Giordana

MPAA Rating: R for language and brief nudity
Run Time: 06h:07m:40s
Release Date: February 07, 2006
UPC: 786936291193
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AB+B D-

DVD Review

The fact that The Best of Youth is six hours long quite possibly means you will never see it. You are missing out. Yes, it's a long film, but the running time is its greatest asset, not something to be overcome. This is a film to savor like a good book, with a scope that's far more ambitious than a two-hour film could hope to handle.

The ambitious plot follows the lives of two brothers over 35 years of Italian history, through times of peace and political turmoil, of floods and recessions and underground revolutions. I can't say I know a lot about the events of the past half-century in Italy, but, as they are in any good story, the themes are universal.

We begin in 1966, with Matteo (Alessio Bono) and Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio) Carati. They attend university, where Nicola has just passed his doctoral exams and Matteo is studying literature and working part time at a mental institution. There, he encounters Georgia (Jasmine Trinca), a young patient being driven slowly insane by a treatment regime of electroshock therapy. One night, Matteo decides to free her, and the brothers plan to take her with them on a trip around the world. Before they can leave, the police discover her, and though the brothers aren't implicated, the incident changes both of their lives forever.

Nicola decides to go on the trip anyway, and spends years living abroad, doing odd jobs. Matteo, impulsively, decides to join the army. They don't see each other again until several years later, after a flood has devastated the city of Florence. Nicola is one of the motivated youths that have come to help save old books and historical documents; Matteo is there in uniform. Among the rubble, Nicola encounters the beautiful Giulia (Sonia Bergamasco), who plays a piano rescued from the waters, and falls in love.

Nicola and Giulia live together and have a daughter, Sara, but Giulia is restless, and drawn into an underground terrorist group known as the Red Brigade. One night she decides she must leave her daughter, and Nicola doesn't do much to stop her. Meanwhile, Matteo has joined up, become a police officer, but he's still driven by his emotions. While on mandatory leave after roughing up a suspect, he meets Mirella (Maya Sansa), a photographer who falls in love with the image of a Matteo she never really comes to know.

A summary of the plot could stretch on for several hundred more words. Other stories are woven into the lives of Nicola and Matteo, and disparate elements of the story often tie together in expected or surprising ways. Their older sister Giovanna (Lidia Vitale) is a judge, and has reason to fear the Red Brigade, as does Carlo (Fabrizio Gifuni), who marries younger sister Francesca (Valentina Carnelutti). The boys' mother (Andriana Asti) loses a husband but finds joy in an extended family she didn't know she had. Sara grows up and finds love, and discovers the truth about her mother.

Despite a large cast of characters and a story that spans decades, The Best of Youth never feels rushed or confused, even for the viewer who doesn't have the benefit of a knowledge of Italian history. Usually you only get to know characters this well on television (well, good television, anyway); director Marco Tullio Giordana originally produced the film to be shown on Italian TV, but it debut at the Cannes Film Festival for financial reasons (the network that paid for it felt it was too challenging and intellectual—too good—to air on the televisione). With time to spare, Giordana has the luxury of letting us watch the characters grow old and change, and by the end, we feel like we know them, like they'll continue to exist long after the credits roll.

I imagine this film would carry even more weight for an Italian audience; for me, it worked well enough as a drama with an epic scope focused on intimate character development. And, really, if you're going to spend six hours somewhere, you could do a lot worse than Rome, Turin, and Florence.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Filmed with 16mm stock for presentation on television, The Best of Youth wound up premiering in theaters at film festivals, and is presented on DVD in a fine-looking transfer taken from a 35mm blowup of the original negative. Most of the film looks great, with sharp images and natural colors. Only in a few spots, often brightly lit, outdoor scenes, can you spot the increased grain of 16mm. I didn't notice significant edge enhancement, and the film has been given room to breathe on two DVDs.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Italian, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in a very basic Italian 2.0 mix. Speech comes across naturally and the score fills out the front soundstage, but the surrounds are muted throughout.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 43 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Though two- and three-disc special editions were released in other regions, this disc includes no extras at all. Chaptering is barely adequate and, while I'm complaining, the lame cover art and tagline aren't doing the film any favors, either.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Rich and rewarding, with a depth justifying its six-hour length, The Best of Youth is an engrossing look at four decades of Italian history and the lives of two brothers. Just as you don't want to finish a good book, this is a film you won't want to end, and considering the running time, I'd say that's the ultimate compliment.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store