If you know me, you’ll know I haven’t been able to shut up about La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth) since I Netflixed it a few weeks ago. I’ve since purchased the film and gave the six-hour long epic another go. I’m happy to say that the second viewing is better than the first. And although the film came out in 2003, I can still feel cool and hip about watching it so late because it’s foreign. You can keep your flannel on.
The story primarily follows two brothers, Nicola and Matteo Carati, from their university years in the 60s to 2003. As grand in scope as it is in length, the film takes its characters all around Italy through pivotal moments in their history, from the 1966 Arno River flood in Florence to the 1992 assassination of Judge Falcone in Palermo, and as far up as a trip to Norway (there is a scene here where Nicola meets an “American” expatriate who still sounds like he has a non-American accent).
Perhaps the most notable characteristic of this film is its ability to draw the viewer into the Caratis’ profound lives. It depicts an entire lifetime in a circular sense, where moments that seem to be an ending really are new beginnings. There are several moments in this film that shake you such that you remember the scenes well after viewing them, as if it found your soul and smacked that little bitch around some.