Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch) (2009)


Critic Consensus: Thoughtful, warm-hearted, and delightfully free of pretense, Mid-August Lunch offers viewers a light diversion with some surprising depth.


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Movie Info

A man unexpectedly finds himself talking care of four women, three of whom he barely knows, in this sunny comedy from Italy. Gianni (Gianni di Gregorio) is a man in his mid-sixties who still lives with his mother; given that Valeria (Valeria De Franciscis) is well into her nineties, these days he looks after her rather than the other way around, though she remains quite spry given her age. Gianni and Valeria share an apartment in a building owned by Luigi (Alfonso Santagata); Gianni owes money on the rent, and Luigi, who wants to take off for the midsummer festivities of Ferragosto, makes him a deal -- Luigi will forgive the debt if his elderly mother, Marina (Marina Cacciotti), can stay with Gianni and Valeria for a few days. Gianni grudgingly agrees, but is upset when he discovers Luigi has also brought his aging aunt Maria (Maria Calì). Word apparently circulates that Gianni is running an informal home for the elderly, as his friend Marcello (Marcello Ottolenghi) stops by and drops off his mother, Grazia (Grazia Cesarini Sforza), for a day or two. While Gianni scrambles to look after the various needs of four elderly women, it soon becomes clear the ladies have strongly differing views on a number of subjects, making his job all the more difficult. Pranzo di Ferragosto (aka Mid-August Lunch) was written and directed by Gianni di Gregorio, who also played the harried son; it was the first directorial project for the veteran screenwriter.

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Critic Reviews for Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch)

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (15)

A simple and endlessly charming look at a weekend in the life of an uncomplicated middle-aged man living with his aging mama.

May 20, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Charming but insignificant.

May 6, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Not much happens in this wisp of a movie (it's barely 75 minutes), and not much is necessary; it's all about finding a mood and letting it sneak up and envelop the watcher.

Apr 29, 2010 | Rating: 3/4

A tasty tidbit of a film, Mid-August Lunch is one of those movies where almost nothing happens but it happens quite nicely.

Apr 23, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

If Mid-August Lunch were a meal instead of a movie, it would be something light and quick, but not entirely unsatisfying. A green salad with a couple pieces of grilled shrimp on top, say.

Apr 23, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

You'd have trouble finding another movie with such unforced appreciation of its elderly characters or such intelligent understanding of old age.

Apr 23, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch)

Warmly humorous and clever, with a leisurely pace and outstanding performances. Although it may seem like a laugh and that's it, it even reaches a pleasingly subtle depth.

Louis Rogers
Louis Rogers

Super Reviewer


In "Mid-August Lunch," middle-aged Gianni(Gianni Di Gregorio, who also directed and co-wrote) takes care of his mother(Valeria De Franciscis). This leaves him with precious little money to pay the bills, like the electric which has not been paid in three years. That's all right, says Alfonso(Alfonso Santagata), the condominium administrator. If Gianni takes care of his mother(Marina Cacciotti) for the night, then he will look the other way on some of the late charges. So, what choice does Gianni have? If only Alfonso had also mentioned his aunt Maria(Maria Cali)... While not what anybody would call substantial, "Mid-August Lunch" goes down easily enough as a droll and charming comedy of manners. One of the most important is to care for the elderly, but not treat them like children. Such lessons are learned on a slow-moving holiday whose rhythms are captured nicely by long takes while also getting some fine footage of Rome in the meantime.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Quite charming and funny.

Rubia  Carolina
Rubia Carolina

Super Reviewer


Slight and simple film about a aging batchelor who lives with and looks after his even elderly-er mother, and somehow acquires another three old ladies to entertain over the August holiday. Sweet but not saccharine, and unlike the little old ladies, doesn't outstay its welcome.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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