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Tyro production shingle GFG pairs its boutiquey aspirations with novice features helmer Giuseppe Papasso to create an unexceptional child-centric nostalgia piece, “A Day in the Life.” The title’s bland meaninglessness is an odd fit with the well-trod themes, combining rosy evocations of an idyllic village past with an infantile expression of cinephilia and the unfortunate tendency in Italo pics to over-celebrate cutesy kiddie romance. Locals are likely to view “Day” as a decent way to pass the time, but tube play with no offshore stopovers will be its ultimate destination.

A reformatory in the southern province of Basilicata, 1964: 12-year-old Salvatore (Matteo Basso) is interviewed by kindly journalist Carlo (Alessandro Haber) about why he’s in juvenile detention. Flashbacks reveal that movie-obsessed Salvatore stole money from his town’s Communist Party coffers to pay for a used film projector, infuriating hard-working dad Pietro (Pascal Zullino), especially since blame was already leveled at rising party member Aurelio (Daniele Russo). The script attempts to evoke the idealism of Italy’s communists during the period but refuses to go beyond the superficial, making everything easily digestible, sweetened by sappy music. Visuals are geared to please.

A Day in the Life

Italy

  • Production: An Iris Film release of a GFG Prod. production. Produced by Giovanni Esposito, Pio Annuzzo. Directed by Giuseppe Papasso. Screenplay, Papasso, Mimmo Rafele.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Ugo Menegatti; editor, Valentina Romano; music, Paolo Vivaldi; production designer, Nunzia Decollanz; costume designer, Sandra Cianci. Reviewed at Casa del Cinema, Rome, Jan. 11, 2011. Running time: 80 MIN.
  • With: With: Pascal Zullino, Domenico Fortunato, Nando Irene, Daniele Russo, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Alessandro Haber, Ernesto Mahieux, Massimo Sorrentino, Mia Benedetta, Matteo Basso, Amedeo Angelone, Francesca D'Amico, Orazio Cammarota.
  • Music By: