Italian for Beginners

7.01 h 34 min2002R
"Italian for Beginners" follows the stories of six insecure singles whose lives interweave one dreary Copenhagen winter.
Lone Scherfig
Anders W. BerthelsenPeter GantzlerLars Kaalund
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Ib Tardini
R (Restricted)
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4.0 out of 5 stars

132 global ratings

  1. 54% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 21% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

-Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful, sweet story
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I have watched this movie at least 10 times. It's more than just one of those feel good movies about finding love; it's unique in that it shows the reality of imperfect people finding each other and loving each other while accepting the fact that they themselves and those they love are human and flawed. In addition to a really beautiful and at times comical story, I love getting a little glimpse into the culture, language, and sites of Denmark. Definitely an A+ for me.
4 people found this helpful
Steven B Hawkes TeeplesReviewed in the United States on August 7, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Fun but challenging
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It's an interesting film, but it takes a bit of work to following. It being in Danish with subtitles takes a bit of effort. It's particularly worthwhile to anyone who is a fan of Lone Scherfig films.
One person found this helpful
Mark MussariReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Example of a Dogma Film
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Beware the myopic reviews by certain others here: they do not get the Dogma film movement and, more importantly, they do not get this film. With its emphasis on the acting--and not special effects, smarmy scores, or other cinematic sleight of hand--the Dogma film compels us to focus on _character._ «Italian for Beginners» does just that, focusing our attention on some lonely Danish singles who find not only refuge but togetherness in their attraction to all things Italian. The great accomplishment of the film's director, Lone Scherfig, is her ability to transfer very specifically Danish cultural aspects to a broader audience. Along the way you get both hilarious and touchingly sad moments and fine acting, all around. Merely to watch the talented Anders Berthelsen's facial expressions or Peter Gantzler's timing is worth the entire price of admission. An excellent film from Denmark.
31 people found this helpful
S. MasonReviewed in the United States on January 19, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
creating community
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A wonderful film that is gentle, funny and lovely. As a Dogme 95 film is isn't all fussed up with Hollywood excess. The simplicity and honesty gives it depth and charm. The acting is excellent and the complexity of the characterizations reveals the pain each is suffering alone that is balanced by the warmth of connecting to one another. The community they create is a beautiful little microcosm: something Danes do so well (e.g. Babette's Feast) and Americans so rarely (Lars and the Real Girl). This is one of my top ten films of all time.
2 people found this helpful
BigstoryReviewed in the United States on July 19, 2009
3.0 out of 5 stars
Dialogue heavy
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This Danish DVD runs 97mins and contains English subtitles as well as captions for the hearing imparied. There are five theatrical trailers including Amelie, Birthday Girl, In the Bedroom, The Shipping News, and The Son's Room.

This movie is dialogue heavy which means you will be doing a lot of subtitle scanning. For me this is not an issue, except that I could not get into the movie. So reading the dialogue became a chore. A nice little retreat from the mainstream if only this movie hits the spot for you.
3 people found this helpful
Andrew FinchReviewed in the United States on January 4, 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting and deep
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Given the low-budget ethos of this film, it succeeds in being interesting and deep, in terms of social relationships and social issues. Rather than the heavy musical cues and editing that guide us through a Hollywood movie, this film takes us gently and realistically into the lives of 6 people who try to work out their problems by interacting with others, some of whom just happen to be in the local council Italian class.

We get a realistic view of Dutch society in this film, along with the problems that people in that society encounter. This sort of everyday cultural information does not appear in the usual cinema event. As the problems develop into temporary solutions, we get close to the characters, and identify them as normal people, looking for understanding and companionship.

The Italian lessons are a link rather than a major part of the film. They are the almost accidental meeting point of the characters, and lead to the visit to Vienna which occurs at the end. In this setting, solutions appear, and we leave the characters in peace.

As with many comedies, this film has a deeper social message about the lives and conditions of the participants. It's nice to join them in an investigation of the human condition that is not dictated by heavyweight stars and huge, commercially-financed budgets.
6 people found this helpful
Diane WoodardReviewed in the United States on October 16, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
but this one just caught my attention and I am glad I did
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I wasn't sure I wanted to watch a subtitled film, but this one just caught my attention and I am glad I did. Excellent characters, well acted and a very satisfying story about friendship.
3 people found this helpful
John C. RiceReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fun stuff.
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Great movie.
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