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Anni felici (2013)

Director:Daniele Luchetti Screenplay by: Daniele Luchetti, Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli, Caterina Venturini Music by:Franco Piersanti Cinematography:Claudio Collepiccolo  Edited by:Mirco Garrone Running time:106 min Country:Italy Language:Italian

Genre:Drama, Romance  Subtitle:English  Starring: Kim Rossi Stuart as Guido, Micaela Ramazzotti as Serena,
Martina Gedeck as Helke
, Samuel Garofalo as Dario, Niccolò Calvagna as Paolo, Benedetta Buccellato as Nonna Marcella,
Pia Engleberth as Nonna Marina
, Angelique Cavallari as Michelle

    Those Happy Years (Italian: Anni felici) is a 2013 Italian drama film directed by Daniele Luchetti. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

A narcissistic artist finds his self-satisfied world turned upside down in the wake of a disastrous exhibition and his previously devoted wife''s extra-marital inclinations.

Those Happy Years
Reviewed by: Anne-Katrin Titze

Fragmented family memories come alive in the Roman sun and at the Mediterranean coast of Camargue. Opening this year''s Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, organized by The Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, in partnership with Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, is Daniele Luchetti''s autobiographical reckoning Those Happy Years (Anni felici).

Recalling a turning point in his childhood, the film glistens with the best kind of nostalgia in the details and expands into wider socio-political threads. Summer of 1974. A hut by the beach selling blow-up swim animals and bright plastic sand shovels is so vivid that you can smell the ocean and taste the dunes in the wind.

Kim Rossi Stuart plays Guido, an artist who feels undervalued and misunderstood. He makes plaster pieces with naked women, lectures at the academy about Yves Klein and Vito Acconci and teaches his two young boys how to appreciate art by holding up two postcards and letting them decide which one is better. In his opinion, they mostly get it wrong with their inherently conservative childhood taste, as do most of the critics who find Guido''s work contrived. To be shocking and provocative means everything to him. The scene with the postcards is touching and funny and full of a love that can only be appreciated in retrospect.

Serena (Micaela Ramazotti), Guido''s wife and mother of the two boys struggles with his unfaithfulness, her place in his world and the world in general. When her husband''s art dealer, gallery owner Elke (an excellent Martina Gedeck, the female lead from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck''s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film The Lives of Others), invites her and the children to go on vacation to France at a kind of feminist resort, power dynamics start to shift.

Serena''s family, described as "merchants", who gather traditionally at their summer house, represent a controlled nest about to disappear. Little Dario (Samuel Garofalo), the filmmaker''s alter ego, is given a Super-8 camera by his grandma. He will use it on vacation with his mother and brother in Camargue, filming wild horses, wild French girls and the shifts of unexpected summer happiness which include his own performance of Snow White.

Guido himself has a performance piece at the Milan Art Palace and is torn apart by the critics. Wanting to be disturbing at any price, he has created work that moves nobody and becomes free-floating. Luchetti does a wonderful job sailing around the cliffs and he doesn''t allow Guido to sink because humiliation of the artist as a young father is clearly not why he made this film.

"We''d lost our innocence - or better we found it," sums up the experience of mother and son in France that summer. Dario''s holiday footage is so good that Kodak want to use it for their TV commercial. "You started selling yourself young," judges the boy''s paternal grandmother (Pia Engleberth). In one of the film''s strongest scenes, Guido explodes and sets his mother straight. He defends his son''s accomplishment and we see in an instant where much of his anger originates.

They watch a cartoon show (Osvaldo Cavandoli''s La Linea) on TV. The main character and his surroundings are drawn as one continuous line. Those Happy Years has a lot in common with the fragility and strength of this concept.

When absence can inspire art the future looks bright.


รางวัล:5 wins & 20 nominations.



Bastia Italian Film Festival 2014

Grand Jury Prize
Daniele Luchetti 

BIFEST - Bari International Film Festival 2014

Italian Competition Award
Best Costume Design
Maria Rita Barbera 

David di Donatello Awards 2014

Best Production Design (Migliore Scenografo)
Giancarlo Basili 
Best Costume Design (Migliore Costumista)
Maria Rita Barbera 
Best Make-Up (Migliore Truccatore)
Paola Gattabrusi 
Best Hair Design/Styling (Migliore Acconciatore)
Massimo Gattabrusi 
Best Sound (Migliore Fonico di Presa Diretta)
Maurizio Argentieri 

Golden Ciak Awards 2014

Golden Ciak
Best Cinematography (Migliore Fotografia)
Claudio Collepiccolo 
Best Production Design (Migliore Scenografia)
Giancarlo Basili 
Best Costume Design (Migliori Costumi)
Maria Rita Barbera 
Best Score (Migliore Colonna Sonora)
Franco Piersanti 

Golden Globes, Italy 2014

Golden Globe
Best Actress (Migliore Attrice)
Micaela Ramazzotti 
Best Original Score (Migliori Musiche)
Franco Piersanti 

Ischia Global Film & Music Festival 2014

Ischia Art Award
Micaela Ramazzotti 

Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists 2014

Silver Ribbon
Best Actor (Migliore Attore Protagonista)
Kim Rossi Stuart 
Best Director (Regista del Miglior Film)
Daniele Luchetti 
Best Screenplay (Migliore Sceneggiatura)
Daniele Luchetti 
Sandro Petraglia 
Stefano Rulli 
Caterina Venturini 
Best Production Design (Migliore Scenografia)
Giancarlo Basili 
For L''intrepido
Best Costume Design (Migliori Costumi)
Maria Rita Barbera 

Les Arcs European Film Festival 2013

Crystal Arrow
Daniele Luchetti 

Munich Film Festival 2014

Best International Film
Daniele Luchetti 

Recife Cine PE Audiovisual Festival 2014

Calunga Trophy
Best Editing (Melhor Montagem)
Mirco Garrone 
Best Supporting Actress (Melhor Atriz Coadjuvante)
Pia Engleberth 
Tied with Roxana Campos for Romance Policial (2014).
Special Jury Award
Honorable Mention
For the young ensemble cast.

Tokyo International Film Festival 2013

Tokyo Grand Prix
Daniele Luchetti 

User Reviews
Amazing film, a must-see!

7 September 2013 | by harjotarora (Canada)
Had the opportunity to see this at the world premiere in Toronto (TIFF13) - the film completely surprised me and surpassed my expectations. It''s a very character driven film with real-life day-to-day complexities, but the director manages to add plenty of humour in the film to keep it super entertaining. Partially an autobiographical, so the director/writer is reliving his life through the movie but of course many universal elements have been added to attract a wider / mainstream audience. Met the director at TIFF - amazing person. His answers to the q&a were awesome and there is great advice in the movie too, but I don''t want to give anything away! I want to see it again. This will be in my top 3 TIFF films for 2013 for sure.

Those Happy Years (Anni Felici): Toronto Review
by Deborah Young

Italian director Daniele Luchetti''s personal work follows Kim Rossi Stuart and Micaela Ramazzotti as a married couple living through the freedom-seeking 1970s.

A delicate, nuanced film that is unexpectedly moving in its portrait of a young Italian family living through the turbulent, freedom-loving ''70s, Those Happy Years uses ironic distance to talk about very intimate things. Director Daniele Luchetti (My Brother Is an Only Child) brings a personal, even autobiographical urgency to the story, coolly told in hindsight by a narrator who watched his parents marriage unravel when he was a child. It captures the excruciating honesty and soul-searching of the years of feminism and self-liberation, a time that now seems far, far away. For this reason, it should evoke a lot of bittersweet memories in older viewers who will appreciate its light touch, along with fans of Italian stars Kim Rossi Stuart and Micaela Ramazzotti, both at the top of their game here.

Guido Marchetti (Rossi Stuart) is an ambitious but still unknown avant-garde artist in 1974, when things were considerably groovier than today. He sculpts female nudes in his Roman studio by pouring plaster over models naked bodies. His two sons, Dario (Samuel Garofalo) and little Paolo (Niccolo Calvagna), watch their father work as though it were the most normal profession in the world. Theyre only kicked out when Dad needs a private session with his models, while the artwork is drying.

Typical of the times, the boys call their parents by their first names. Their mother, Serena (Ramazzotti), is a pretty, curly-haired housewife who doesnt understand the first thing about modern art, but understands all too well what her good-looking spouse is up to. Their fights usually end happily in the bedroom, as the boys look on. One of the clever things about the film is the way the kids are treated as if theyre invisible, making them privy to everything their parents do and feel and allowing Dario to be a privileged narrator.

Though at first Serena seems like just another jealous, slightly dippy housewife, Luchetti deftly turns that impression around in an early scene about performance art. Throughout the film, conventional academic art is challenged by the new avant-garde; Guido belongs to the latter school. His foreign gallery owner, Helke (Martina Gedeck of The Lives of Others), gets him a shot at the big time: an important group show in Milan. Though he orders Serena to stay home, she turns up with the kids anyway. In a beautifully imagined and filmed sequence artfully balanced between humor and embarrassment, Guido walks into the gallery stark naked with four of his models, who proceed to paint his body while an assistant challenges the squirming, well-dressed crowd of critics and spectators to take off their clothes. From the back of the room, Serena and the kids look on bug-eyed. Her spontaneous reaction is a touching expression of her naivete about modern art, as well testimony to the love, trust and admiration she bears her husband.

Thanks to Serena, the critics pan the performance as fake.

But the film audience, at least, is now firmly on her side, and Guido and his artistic male ego drop away as the screenplay unexpectedly shifts its attention to her. Serena has always accepted Guidos unliberated attitude that a wife should stay home and care for her family, but now something changes inside her. Had it not been for her wonderful openness in the Milan scene, it would be impossible to believe she could go so far so fast in taking ownership of her feelings and rights as a woman. In the short space of a summer, under the playfully watchful eye of Darios new 8mm film camera, Serena puts aside her doubts and heads off to a feminist retreat in France with Helke and the kids in tow. There, as the expression goes, she learns a lot about herself. When she returns to Rome, her marriage to Guido will never be the same.

Theres something heart-wrenching about the tone of the screenplay, co-authored by the director with top screenwriters Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli, both of whom worked on My Brother Is an Only Child. Given the fact that Luchettis father, sculptor Luca Luchetti, had a career similar to Guidos, and that his artwork was used in the film, its hard not to associate Daniele Luchetti with the eager young filmmaker Dario Marchetti. In any case, the storys warm, affectionate tone will make the audience agree with Darios reflection that, despite all the chaos and painful moments in his youth, in retrospect they were the happy years.

Rossi Stuart is wholly believable as the angry, self-absorbed artist, the product of a mother who never stops cutting him down, even as an adult. But Ramazzotti steals the spotlight from him with her engaging pout and sudden courage to defy her big, warm family of shopkeepers and follow her own path. The performances are underlined by very delicate and illuminating mood music from composer Franco Piersanti.

A disclaimer: Luchetti presents what must be one of the most glowing portraits on film of an art critic: one who not only forgives a punch in the face for a negative review, but nobly offers sage words of advice and a pat on the back when the same artist changes register and starts producing good work. Its one of the films little surprises.

Venue: Toronto Film Festival (Special Presentation), Sept. 13, 2013


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