Italian for Beginners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Italian for Beginners Reviews

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½ September 30, 2014
Nothing really holds the movie together with enough substance, just mostly plays as separated characters with different stories that don't ever really feel connected (even with the Italian class). The Dogma 95 style of jerky handheld cameras was the wrong approch for this movie, it's pretty distracting throughout, and doesn't work with the romantic comedy aspirations of the movie.
February 2, 2014
won the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the Golden Spike Award for the best film of the year at the Seminci film festival in Valladolid, Spain, and the Audience Award at the Warsaw International Film Festival in Poland. Peter Gantzler won the award for Best Actor at the Seminci festival. The film also won the Gold Dolphin (Best Film) at the Festroia International Film Festival in 2001.
April 16, 2013
Although a bit slow and hum-drum at first, this sweet little film grew on me. The immediacy of the video-taped quality made it remind me of an episode of Britain's Coronation Street. An enjoyable view.
April 7, 2013
more drama than comedy; started off grim-ish and ended on a lighter note. the ensemble cast was endearing, believable, and the movie had heart.
February 8, 2013
At the edge of their lonely life, they finally encounter their true pairs. This is the most pure love story that I've never seen before. Whenever I watch this film, I cannot help falling in love with this film and all characters.
January 31, 2013
The seventh Dogma. My first Denmark.
October 20, 2012
Also this Danish movie was full of love. ???????????DVD?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
September 26, 2012
supposed to be a romantic comendy. however, it turned out to be sad and depressing dannish alternative movie. worth watching though, if in mood...
June 10, 2012
Einer der besten dänischen Dogma 95 Filme
½ June 10, 2012
Lars Von Trier inició en 1995 un movimiento cinematográfico llamado Dogma. La historia se encargaría de llamarle Dogma 95.
Este fue un intento por basar las películas solamente en historias y personajes, más allá de efectos especiales o adornos innecesarios (desde el punto de vista de esta corriente) para el servicio de la historia y el desarrollo de los personajes.
Se realizó incluso un decálogo, donde se estipulaban las reglas de esta escuela como por ejemplo: Que no fueran películas de género (comedias, misterio, suspenso etc.), que la iluminación fuera natural y no manipulada por nada ni por nadie, que no tuvieran música y cosas por el estilo.
Dogma 95 sin duda ha sido uno de los movimientos cinematográficos más relevantes de los últimos años.
Esta película danesa "Italiano para Principiantes" pertene precisamente a ese selecto grupo de cintas. Cuenta la historia de algunos personajes que convergen en un curso de Italiano.
"Italiano para Principiantes", podría ser considerada, la única película romántica de la corriente Dogma 95. Una buena cinta con una bonita historia.
½ February 19, 2012
A dogma film which you have to watch with that in mind...so don't put it on thinking is a romantic comedy...anyway besides the style which is very indi and courageous but yet difficult to adjust to, the movie has a cast which drives the plot into a very interesting way, between coincidence and interconnection allowing a story that arcs from tragedy to happiness...

If you are not into this genre it is very hard to watch (there's basically no score throughout the film) but given the spontenaty of the cast , it is really worth it to take a look
November 21, 2011
Very sweet. I am going to look up an Italian course
July 26, 2011
Si Robert Altman hibiera realizado una cinta al estilo Dogma, seguramente el resultado sería muy parecido a esto: un discreto ejercicio cinematográfico en donde varias historias se cruzan, produciendo un extraño paseo que va del drama a la comedia de forma inexplicable...
July 15, 2011
Aivan ihastuttava tragikomedia Tanskasta. Se sijoittuu pikkukaupunkiin, jossa yhdeksän eri ihmistä löytävät toisensa traagisten tapahtumien ja yhteisen harrastuksen, italian kurssin kautta. Jokainen henkilö on omalta osaltaan kokenut jonkinlaisen menetyksen ja he saavat tukea toisiltaan. Hersyvä huumori dramaattisten tapahtumien lomassa jättää hyvän mielen. Paras näkemäni tanskalainen elokuva ikinä! Suosittelen! Eurooppalaisen elokuvan helmiä!
½ June 18, 2011
Film con poche pretese, forse per questo piacevole. In fondo, come anche il film mette in risalto, basta poco per rendere migliore una giornata.
½ June 17, 2011
Cinta que dio paso a la segunda ola del Dogma 95, esta confirmo o dio validez al movimiento. Exitosa en la taquilla y con la critica. Esta "comedia" se respalda en los personajes en los cuales se enfoca y se beneficia de un estupendo casting. Una pequeña cinta que agrada por tener los pies en el suelo y nunca pretender ser otra cosa.
½ May 26, 2011
A lovely film about love and life.
May 24, 2011
An interesting and at times amusing film. Typically European with only a little influence from Hollywood. I did enjoy more the second time.
April 4, 2011
Dogme 95. Can you dig it?

For the uninitiated, Dogme 95 is a Danish film movement that spanned 1995-2005, founded by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, dropping much of the usual technology and artifice of the film experience for something entirely focused on the story, acting, and theme - taking indie filmmaking to the very roots of film's creation. Most viewers are so accustomed to the layers of artifice and perspective-skewing lenses that we veil our films with that Dogme 95 films may seem initially unpalatable, but if you can get past your preconceptions, there's substance to be enjoyed.

I'm not quite a stranger to Danish film myself, having watched Allegro, The Boss of It All, Dancer in the Dark, and Dear Wendy in the past - three of them Trier films, and one of them a collaboration with Vinterberg that was far from Dogme 95. (Dear Wendy) All of the aforementioned were enjoyable in their own ways, but despite having learned about the Dogme 95 movement in a European film course I took in college, only now was Italian for Beginners my first personal exposure to Dogme 95.

The acting is strong across the board, highlighting one of the greatest strengths of Dogme 95: its documentary-like feel. The characters disappear into the actors, and you feel as though you're watching the stories of real people unfold on screen, creating a level of immersion that otherwise typically self-aware filmmaking is less capable of. Of course, prior to Italian for Beginners, I wasn't familiar with any of the cast - that likely also contributes to the impressive melding of character and actor in my eyes.

The camera work itself is all competently done - it never feels like an awkward home movie, and it's not as spontaneous as a documentary. There's clearly direction, but it doesn't interfere with the authentic feel of the story presented. That said, as there's nothing grand in what Dogme 95 seeks to capture and express, there's nothing grand in Italian for Beginners' cinematography - just well-shot images and scenes of characters as believable human beings living their lives in Denmark, and a trip to Italy late in the film.

The script, in many ways, is what holds it back. There's a few too many happy coincidences and connections and a few too many relative deaths that the characters go through at every turn to completely hold onto the realism Dogme 95 seeks. These aspects of the script would likely have worked better in a more traditional modern film where you're more aware of the artifice of the world you're gazing into, but at the same time, that would come at the expense of the Dogme 95 strengths Italian for Beginners possesses.

In its summation, Italian for Beginners is a good film, and a worthy introduction to Dogme 95 - a test of sorts to see whether or not you could get into and enjoy the films of the movement. But I'd also bank on Dogme 95 movies being essentially unpalatable to the average American filmgoer, and that's likely the case for most filmgoers across the globe. This is pure art house cinema at its very heart - the product of a movement with vision, seeking to capture and highlight certain things at the expense of the elements of modern and postmodern filmmaking that we so often take for granted. As such, while I can personally recommend Italian for Beginners as a good film, that recommendation comes with the caveat that most people will probably struggle with it - that's the nature of Dogme 95 filmmaking. It's hard to call it necessarily "entertaining" or "fun," but it's authentic, honest, and heartfelt in ways the cinema we're used to can't quite reach.
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