The film lacks substance and the execution leaves a lot to be desired. It is disjointed and considering its length, is surprisingly superficial . Too many flaws prevent the film from achieving greatness. Most importantly, the first part of the film, the "youth", was rather weak and fails to establish a ground for the rest of the film. The high point occurs when the focus is set on Matteo in the second part.
"[As] seductive as a towering work of narrative fiction, in the same way that Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children give themselves to the people of Colombia and India, respectively. Giordana weaves a delicate tapestry of human ecstasy and misery, paralleling the ups and downs of a family with the rise and fall of a country." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant. 3.5 stars
4.5 Wow, thanks MUBI. Great actors as the brothers. Matteo is afraid to feel anything, and wants a rulebook for life. Nicola is "simpatico" and eager to help people experience their feelings. Where their lives take them as a result of their personalities seems organic and masterfully plotted. Only the trajectory of Nicola's wife seems a bit far-fetched, but the second half may prove me wrong.
I saw THE BEST OF YOUTH when it came out, that was a while ago, but I remember it wasn't bad, maybe a little bit cliche if you've seen as many Italian family epics as I have. Big time investment, these Italian family epics, and like a TV series, they require the viewer to actually care about this particular Italian family. But if you're willing to drink the Kool-ade, go for it. Or watch ROCCO & HIS BROTHERS instead.
cheesy-- stopped viewing after the first 10 minutes because the acting reminded me of the way people sound on television sit-coms. Felt like I was watching a TV show. Characters too archetypal and stock; feels dated. I can imagine lots of people really liking this.
I got sucked into this story almost immediately, and it did not let me go. One of the main reasons that it took such a strong hold on me was that it didn't make a lot of the mistakes that films like this normally do. 1. No gangsters 2. Strong female characters 3. Talks about social and philosophical issues in a meaningful way 4. Not everything is explained 5. Not a tear jerker 6. Consistent acting
I decided to watch this film because I read really good reviews. At first I thought it would be boring but it became one of the most wonderful films I've ever seen! It's so human, we feel such an empathy with the characters that we almost believe they're our own friends. It also reminded me my own life and I can't wait to see part 2. Masterpiece!
A wonderful story on two brothers and their adventures and endeavours from the beginning of adulthood in the 80's until the present day in 2000. One of the greatest six hours straight I've spent in front of a screen. Even if a tad melodramatic and at times a little soap-opery, it is a grand Italian epic. And one to re-watch.