Gianni Di Gregorio is the veteran Italian director, screenwriter and actor who has served up some lovely filmic dishes in the past, such as his Pranzo Di Ferragosto, or Mid-August Lunch (2008) about a middle-aged man caring for his elderly mother, and his Gianni e le Donne, or Gianni and the Women, released in the UK as The Salt of Life (2011) on very much the same theme. Now he has created this gentle, wistful late-life comedy (originally entitled Lontano Lontano, or Far Away), a sort of Italian version of Last of the Summer Wine. Three old guys in Rome (presumably widowers, or divorced, or in one case perhaps never married – they never talk about former partners) hang around all day complaining because their modest pensions aren’t stretching very far. They are a retired classics teacher, nicknamed Professore (Di Gregorio himself), unemployed loafer Giorgetto (Georgio Colangeli) and gregarious antiques dealer Attilio (played by Ennio Fantastichini, who died just before the release).
They figure they would do better to move to a country where their money has more spending power, like the Brits in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. After consulting with a local luminary – a lovely cameo from Italian stage and screen icon Roberto Herlitzka – they hit on Bulgaria, though they might as well be travelling to one of Jupiter’s moons for all they know or care about the place.
From there on, our three musketeers simply amble about, supposedly trying to raise enough money for the move, but patently trying to avoid thinking about this rash and implausible plan, each clearly afraid of confessing to the other two that he has cold feet. It’s a sweet, sad, slightly flimsy film with nice performances from the grey-haired gallants.
Source: The Guardian