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Mio Fratello Figlio Unico (My Brother Is an Only Child) (2007)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 61
Fresh: 53 | Rotten: 8

Luchetti takes advantage of the storyline's historical context without sacrificing his cast's fine performances or the script's light wit.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 2

Luchetti takes advantage of the storyline's historical context without sacrificing his cast's fine performances or the script's light wit.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,795

My Rating

Movie Info

Growing up in small-town Italy during the '60s and '70s, brothers Accio (Elio Germano) and Manrico (Riccardo Scamarcio) embody and celebrate opposing political stances, but share an impassioned love of the same woman that threatens to drive them to blows. Director Daniele Luchetti's political comedy Mio Fratello Figlio Unico (aka My Brother Is an Only Child, 2007) observes the brothers over the course of 15 years, against the ever-shifting backdrop of tumultuous Italian sociopolitical history.

Aug 5, 2008

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All Critics (62) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (8) | DVD (5)

The film, which argues that blood brotherhood is stronger than political brotherhoods, vibrates with their youthful energy and ardor.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The linkage in this movie between politics and family dynamics is a point well taken, but the movie -- whose sense of frenetic activity going nowhere is captured by Luchetti's buoyant camera -- does go on and on before anyone learns anything.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sometimes, under a torrent of social pressures, water runs faster, if not thicker, than blood, and even the strongest bonds drown in the flood.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You don't need a degree in political science to love this film...The film entertainingly demonstrates that the bonds of blood are stronger than those of ideology.

May 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That it clicks is largely due to the daredevil chemistry of the actors playing the brothers, who can be a handful whenever they're together.

May 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Daniele Luchetti's strategy is to personify the long-standing divisions of his homeland in a pair of siblings, but make the characters so vital that we don't feel we're being browbeaten with political allegory.

April 25, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Actors Germano and Scamarcio turn in magnificent, multilayered acting jobs.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Daniele Luchetti's fluent, heartfelt Italian picture is the story of two brothers born after the war, who come of age in the 1960s and drift apart in the paranoid, violent, sour political atmosphere of Italy in the 70s.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

A merry swirl of vital, passionate performances.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

It's an engrossing political love story, with a strong sense of the shadings within the daily lives of these characters.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Fast-paced, well-acted and acute about sibling rivalry, the film nonetheless fails to leave a strong impression.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

This is such a lovely film from writer/director Daniele Luchetti, nostalgic perhaps, but with that indefinable Italian whimsy that takes serious political themes and undermines them beautifully.

June 13, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

The performances are astonishing, perhaps enabled by the flawless script.

June 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Despite the awards pedigree, the drama is a bit of a slog at times, with Accio taking seemingly ages to come of age, but nobody said growing up was easy.

June 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

"Only Child" is both funny and heartbreaking, and incredibly adept at shifting between lighter and darker tones.

June 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Although familiarity with Italian politics helps in appreciating this film, anyone can enjoy this energetic tale of a house divided.

June 8, 2008 Full Review Source:

The best thing about the movie are the performances, all of which are outstanding; in particular, Angela Finocchiaro, who plays the long-suffering mother, is superb.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

The film's early affability eventually wears out, and a sharp turn into deadly seriousness feels out of place.

May 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

My Brother Is an Only Child is a buoyant, handsomely crafted film.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A coming-of-age story about a young man who - like the era he was born into - has no idea how to come of age, except by violent fits and starts, in all directions, to varying ends, and ready to change course whenever the mood strikes.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

In this lively drama of rebellion and revolution, emotion is even more inflammatory than politics.

May 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for Mio Fratello Figlio Unico (My Brother Is an Only Child)

differing political ideologies of communism versus fascism can not sever the bonds between two brothers. very moving and well acted film.
April 7, 2009

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"There's nothing in the middle of road but yellow lines and dead armadillos." - Jim Hightower[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"My Brother Is An Only Child" starts in 1962 in Italy where Accio Benassi(Elio Germano) is in a seminary studying to be a priest. He does well until he discovers masturbation and quits, reasoning that priests should be pure.(Good luck with that, by the way.) Returning home, he learns that his parents(Angela Finocchiaro & Massimo Popolizio) will not let him study Latin, instead forcing him to go to technical school, so he can learn something practical. To make matters worse, his sister Violetta(Alba Rohrwacher) is allowed to pursue the cello. Temporarily running away solves nothing but joining up with the Fascists through Mario(Luca Zingaretti) at least gives him a sense of purpose. It also gives him a point of argument with his older brother Manrico(Riccardo Scamarcio) and his cute girlfriend Francesca(Diane Fleri), both Communists.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"My Brother Is An Only Child" is an engaging examination of radical politics in Italy in the 1960's, minus the cliches, musical cues and references to historical events which takes the movie down to a personal level. Throughout, the Communists and Fascists appear to resemble little more than rival street gangs(you could make a pretty good Romeo and Juliet story out of this). They are fighting for the present as the Communists represent an idealized future while the Fascists represent a nonexistent past. Regardless, the movie makes a potent argument against violence waged for any cause.[/font]
April 9, 2009
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Another fabulous film out of Italy that is a picture of the politics of the era when extreme points of view were advocated by those who would seek to deal with plodding governments. In this case, it is personal with different members of the family gravitating to the left and right. It sparkles.
June 4, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

In this movie everything seems right... it was well directed by Daniele Luchetti, perfectly written by him and Sandro Petraglia with Stefano Rulli and all roles were superbly played by Elio Germano (Accio), Riccardo Scamarcio (Manrico), Diane Fleri (Francesca), Alba Rohrwacher (Violetta), Angela Finocchiaro (Mother) and Massimo Popolizio (Father). Some of the best social dramas I've seen in my life were Italian made, and this one should be in the top 10 - it has it all: class struggle, ideological warfare, political contention, you name it - and most of it is expressed through sibling rivalry.

The director sets the stage for a morality play or maybe some kind of a family melodrama, but he manages to show us on that stage materialized violence or grief... and all seems natural, done in breezy and raffish maner!

Explosions of the sibling rivalry between the brothers are regular while they make their choices in life. Did someone said the life is like a rollercoaster? A film with a message... a film which will make you think! Enjoy watching it!
December 9, 2010
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Mein Bruder ist ein Einzelkind (DE)
  • My Brother Is An Only Child (UK)
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