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Italian for Beginners (2000)

Italiensk for begyndere (original title)
Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

Director:

Lone Scherfig

Writers:

Maeve Binchy (based on her novel "Evening Class"), Lone Scherfig (screenplay)

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20 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen Anders W. Berthelsen ... Andreas
Anette Støvelbæk ... Olympia
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen ... Karen
Peter Gantzler ... Jørgen Mortensen
Lars Kaalund Lars Kaalund ... Hal-Finn
Sara Indrio Jensen Sara Indrio Jensen ... Giulia
Karen-Lise Mynster Karen-Lise Mynster ... Kirsten, the real estate dealer
Rikke Wölck Rikke Wölck ... Lise, the nurse
Elsebeth Steentoft Elsebeth Steentoft ... Kirketjener
Bent Mejding Bent Mejding ... Reverend Wredmann
Lene Tiemroth Lene Tiemroth ... Karen's Mother
Claus Gerving Claus Gerving ... Klaus Graversen
Jesper Christensen ... Olympia's Father
Merete Voldstedlund Merete Voldstedlund ... Andreas' mother (scenes deleted)
Henning Jensen ... Leif (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A young minister, a widower, is temporarily assigned to a church whose suspended pastor drove parishioners away; he stays at a hotel where he meets Jørgen, who's alone approaching middle age. Jørgen's friend Finn, a temperamental restaurant manager, may be about to be fired. Finn's assistant is Giulia, a lovely young Italian who prays for a husband. Olympia, a clumsy bakery clerk, has an ornery father; Karen, a hairdresser, has a mother who is very ill. The paths of these six characters cross at church, in the restaurant, at the hotel, and at an Italian class at the local adult school. Loneliness, grief, solace, romance, and love may meet 'nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita.' Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Attendance Optional. Passion Required. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sandrew Metronome

Country:

Denmark | Sweden

Language:

Danish | Italian | English

Release Date:

10 May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Italiano para principiantes See more »

Filming Locations:

Avedøre, Sjælland, Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

DKK 4,563,271 (Denmark), 15 December 2000

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,047, 20 January 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,447,186, 7 July 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At least one official poster for Italian for Beginners (2000) featured false advertising: Despite the claim, that it got an "Academy Award nomination - Best Foreign Language Film", it was never nominated. See more »

Goofs

When Karen turns the dial of the IV, she reduces the dose instead of increasing it. See more »

Quotes

Olympia's Father: That sounds disgusting.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The R1 DVD release features an even shorter cut of the film, running only 97 minutes. See more »

Connections

References Dancer in the Dark (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

O sole mio
(1898)
Music by Eduardo Di Capua
Lyrics by Giovanni Capurro
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another dogme hit.
16 February 2001 | by McBuffSee all my reviews

At the time of writing, "Italian for beginners" is a big hit on the Berlin Film Festival. The reason may be that it´s another film made under the Dogme 95 certificate, but it can easily stand on its own, without comparison to "The Celebration", "The Idiots" and "Mifune". Basically it´s a comedy-drama (although one of the Dogme rules prohibits genre definition) telling several interwoven stories connected by the Italian-for-beginners-class. There are a whole variety of characters: the young pastor, the hothead short order cook from the sports restaurant, the clumsy girl from the bakery etc. All very recognizable everyday types, but beautifully realized by its talented cast, with special kudos to Peter Gantzler, cast against type and hilariously underplaying as the nerdish impotent hotel clerk. Lars Kaalund is also very funny, sporting a very authentic sounding Italian.

Director Lone Scherfig has made a very endearing, romantic film that is very universal in its tone, which is probably why it has performed so well at the Berlin film festival. For a feel-good movie experience, you should definitely go see "Italian for beginners".


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