Dave's Rating:

4.5

… small, personal, humorous …

Who's in It: Elio Germano, Riccardo Scamarcio

The Basics: Two Italian brothers in the late 1960s/early 1970s come of age and find themselves in personal, sexual and political rivalry with each other. One is a free-love communist and the other is a fascist hooligan. They fight a lot. Sounds heavy, but it's not, because it leans more toward small, personal, humorous moments than big, sweeping, dramatic declarations or weepy nostalgia.

What's the Deal? Obviously, it would help if you had a clue about Italy's fascist past and the Marxist youth rebellion of that time period, but it's not absolutely necessary. It's not so much about that stuff (and the highlights are explained pretty well) as it is about how two very different brothers come to love and care for each other.

Pedigree: Written by Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli, the guys who wrote the amazing (and weirdly successful with U.S.-foreign-film audiences, considering that it was a six-hour TV miniseries released here theatrically) The Best of Youth.

Funniest Part: A communist orchestra and chorus performs Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" with reworked, pro-Mao text and Bob Dylan-like flash cards to get its godless point across. It really doesn't add much to the plot, but it's still part of the movie's tone of gentle mockery toward extreme politics.

You Don't Know Him Now but You Will: Germano, as the younger, hard-headed fascist brother who experiences the most personal change, pretty much walks away with the whole movie.

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