A picaresque character comedy with a whimsical, dreamlike edge, "Tobia al caffe" mixes coming-of-age material with a more adventurous meditation on changing times and lost dreams. Result is not entirely successful, but, after a confusing start, it does attain a fragile, timeless charm. Veteran Gianfranco Mingozzi's movie was the best of the lackluster Italian lineup at Taormina, but its commercial career, even on home ground, looks shaky.
A picaresque character comedy with a whimsical, dreamlike edge, “Tobia al caffe” mixes coming-of-age material with a more adventurous meditation on changing times and lost dreams. Result is not entirely successful, but, after a confusing start, it does attain a fragile, timeless charm. Veteran Gianfranco Mingozzi’s movie was the best of the lackluster Italian lineup at Taormina, but its commercial career, even on home ground, looks shaky.
The Caffe Quattro Palme is an elegant, turn-of-the-century-style bistro populated by eccentrics from a bygone age. Head waiter Giuseppe (Roberto Citran) is devoted to his work, and the only young regular is rich kid Tobia (Federico Galante), who treats the place as a spiritual haven. Ten years later, he (Nicola Russo) still hangs out there and starts a shy friendship with the serene Annetta (Candice Hugo); as young people and then homeless bums take over the cafe, changing its character, Tobia tries to adjust. Film’s allegorical side doesn’t always sit easily with its first-love story, and Mingozzi brings no special look to the proceedings. Perfs are generally OK, sometimes overripe.
Tobia Al Caffe
An AB Film release of a Factory Produzioni Cinematografiche production. (International sales: Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, Rome.) Produced by Mariella Li Sacchi. Executive producer, Amedeo Letizia.
Directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi. Screenplay, Marco Lodoli, Silvia Brembilla, Angelo Orlando, Mingozzi, based on the story by Lodoli in the collection "Grande raccordo."
Camera (Augustus color), Luigi Verga; editor, Alfredo Muschietti; music, Nicola Piovani; art director, Guido Josia; costume designer, Luigi Bonanno. Reviewed at Taormina Film Festival, July 7, 2000. Running time: 99 MIN.
Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]
Mike Judge’s workplace satire “Office Space,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary Feb. 19, was a bona fide box office flop when it grossed a measly $10.8 million in 1998. But once the comedy was discovered on DVD and cable, “Office Space” became a cult sensation, spreading concepts like “flair” and “assclown” across pop culture. The [...]
Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]
It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]
Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]
The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]
“Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]