Weekly recommendations for the fans of the

                  BIG SCREEN

The pursuit of happyness (USA, 2006): 

Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton. 

Written by: Steven Conrad.

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino.

Genre: Drama.

Running time: 1h 57m. 

Curiosities: the unusual spelling of the film title (happyness with a “y”) comes from a mural that Chris Gardner (the protagonist) sees on the wall outside the daycare facility his son attends.

“The Pursuit of Happyness” is a film inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, an American businessman who in the early 1980s struggled with homelessness while raising his little child. Chris invests his life savings in portable bone-density scanners, which play a pivotal role in his life, but by selling them he does not manage to reach financial stability. Then, haunted by bad luck, some stupid moves, and a progressively eroded marriage, Chris loses his apartment and with his 5-year-old son, Christopher, he does his best to find shelters and bounces from one shelter to the other, but never loses his optimism, his faith, the love for his child, and the hope for a better future. 

Touching, thought-provoking, deep. 

Score:⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 

Available on: Netflix, Infinitytv.

Trailer: click here.

To watch next…

Midnight in Paris (USA, 2011):

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates.

Written by: Woody Allen 

Directed by: Woody Allen

Genre: Romantic comedy

Running time: 94 min 

Curiosities: In the movie are shown two Picasso’s paintings: the first one actually called “Les Baigneuses” painted in 1928; the other one “Portrait of Gertrude Stein” painted in 1906.

Gil Pender, a successful but creatively unfulfilled Hollywood screenwriter who is struggling with his first novel,  goes for a family vacation in Paris together with his fiancée Inez. One night, while Inez prefers going dancing with some friends, Gil starts walking down the streets of his beloved Paris; suddenly at midnight a 1920’s car pulls up beside him and the passengers urge him to join them: from that moment he’ll live every night at midnight a time travel experience in the 1920’s intellectual world.

Particularly influenced by Fellini’s style, through this movie Woody Allen deals especially with the theme of nostalgia for past times, times that we haven’t lived and therefore mythicized and dreamt by the present. 

Sentimental, vibrant, imaginative. 

Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 

Awards: Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay 

Available on: Amazon

Trailer: click here.

To watch next…

Zodiac (USA, 2007):

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.

Written by: James Vanderbilt 

Directed by: David Fincher

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Running time: 157 min

Curiosities: Ruffalo and Gyllenhaal got the part thanks to Jennifer Aniston, who sponsored them to David Fincher as the best partners she ever had. 

July 1969. Zodiac is inspired by the true story of the homonymous serial killer who committed a series of murders in California during the 1970s. Paradoxically, the protagonists of the story are a reporter, a cartoonist, and an investigator who really existed: men who strived to find Zodiac identity. Unfortunately, the investigation did not lead to any results, except for a few suspects. But beyond the story, what makes the difference compared to other movies of its kind is the structure, far from the usual clichés. Indeed, although Zodiac is a thriller movie, the director does not focus his attention on the killer, but on the lives of the other protagonists involved in the story, emphasizing the psychology and the obsessions of those who for years tried to reveal, unsuccessfully, the identity of the serial killer. Following this logic, Fincher’s work seems to talk indirectly to the audience, thus treating the spectators as detectives, bringing the thriller to the next level.

Thrilling, intriguing, brilliant.

Score: ⭐⭐⭐/5.

Available on:  Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play Film

Trailer: click here

For the screen addict…

Fleabag (United Kingdom, 2016-2019):

Starring: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman, Bill Paterson, Brett Gelman.

Written by: Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Directed by: Harry Bradbeer

Genre: Comedy-Drama, Tragicomedy

Curiosities: Written and created by the Phoebe Waller-Bridge (the main actress), based on a monologue performed in her theatre show in 2013. Supposedly, “fleabag” is a sort of nickname and the protagonist’s real name is never pronounced

A comedy-drama series proved to be a real surprise! Fleabag, serial production BBC-Amazon, is never trivial but always extremely original, even if it deals with themes already covered extensively in the cinema and on TV. Over only 8 episodes for season 1 and 12 episodes for season 2 (average length: 25 minutes), the television series tells the facets of the unstable life of a nameless thirty years old Londoner. Initially, you would think that Fleabag is an unconventional comedy about a young emancipated woman, although a lot “messed up”. But, along the way, you’ll discover his spontaneous ability to complicate everything, as well as his weaknesses and his deepest fears which she expresses directly to the audience. Indeed, the two faces of the protagonist will make you laugh a lot: the cheerful, carefree, a bit flamboyant one, and the real one, a bit sad, full of drama and anxiety. Hilarious, brilliant, immaculately scripted and performed. A breath of fresh air!

Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5    

Awards: 6 Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series and Best Actress for Waller-Bridge.   

Available on: Amazon.   

Trailer: click here.

Camilla Pasquali,

Gaia Checcarelli,

Francesca Mazzocchi.

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