Italian for Beginners
|Italian for Beginners|
|Directed by||Lone Scherfig|
|Produced by||Karen Bentzon
Gert Duve Skovlund
Peter Aalbæk Jensen
|Written by||Lone Scherfig
|Starring||Anders W. Berthelsen
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen
|Music by||Niels W. Gade (Non-original)|
|Edited by||Gerd Tjur|
Italian for Beginners (Danish: Italiensk for begyndere) is a 2000 Danish romantic comedy film written and directed by Lone Scherfig. The film stars Anders W. Berthelsen, Lars Kaalund and Peter Gantzler. The film was made by the austere principles of the Dogme 95 movement, including the use of hand held video cameras and natural lighting, and is known as Dogme XII. However, in contrast to most Dogme films which are harsh and serious in tone, Italian for Beginners is a light-hearted comedy. Made on a low budget of $600,000, the film ranks as the most profitable Scandinavian film in history.
In May 2010, it was officially revealed that writer-director Scherfig "borrowed" her plot from the Irish novel Evening Class by Maeve Binchy. Zentropa has agreed to pay a non-disclosed compensation to Binchy.
Three women and three men, all singles, with stressful or unhappy lives, register for an Italian course in a Danish village. The class serves as a way of bringing these various residents of the town, each of whom is dealing with loss or pain, out of their loneliness and into interactions with other people. When the teacher suffers a heart attack during class and ends up dying, the six classmates hold the class anyway and eventually take a vacation to Italy.
- Anders W. Berthelsen as Andreas
- Anette Støvelbæk as Olympia
- Ann Eleonora Jørgensen as Karen
- Peter Gantzler as Jørgen Mortensen
- Lars Kaalund as Hal-Finn
- Sara Indrio Jensen as Giulia
- Karen-Lise Mynster as Kirsten, the real estate dealer
- Rikke Wölck as Lise, the nurse
- Elsebeth Steentoft as Kirketjener
- Bent Mejding as Reverend Wredmann
- Lene Tiemroth as Karen's Mother
- Claus Gerving as Klaus Graversen
- Jesper Christensen as Olympia's Father
The film won the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the Golden Spike Award for the best film of the year at the Seminci film festival in Valladolid, Spain, and the Audience Award at the Warsaw International Film Festival in Poland. Peter Gantzler won the award for Best Actor at the Seminci festival. The film also won the Gold Dolphin (Best Film) at the Festroia International Film Festival in 2001. It currently holds an 88% certified "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
- Mette Hjort, Lone Scherfig's Italian for Beginners, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2010. ISBN 978-87-635-3483-3.
- Italian for Beginners at the Internet Movie Database
- Italian for Beginners in the Danish National Filmography
- FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW; "Finding the Right Spark for a Guy With a Problem" New York Times October 2, 2001