The Salt of Life
DIRECTED BY GIANNI DI GREGORIO
ITALY, 2011, 90 MIN
IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
In his warm and witty follow-up to his 2010 Italian sensation, Mid-August Lunch (FFF 2010), writer-director-actor and sad-faced charmer Gianni Di Gregorio has created another irresistible manifesto of his love for the ladies—but this time he plays a middle-aged retiree who has become practically invisible to all Roman women, regardless of age or relation. In THE SALT OF LIFE he contends with an aristocratic, spendthrift mother (again played by Mid-August Lunch’s great nonagenarian Valeria De Franciscis); a wife who is more patronizing friend than romantic partner; a daughter (played by Di Gregorio’s real-life daughter Teresa) with a slacker boyfriend whom Gianni unwillingly befriends; and a sexy young neighbor who sees him merely as her dogwalker. Watching his “codger” friends snare beautiful younger women on the sun-kissed cobblestones of Trastevere, Gianni tries his polite, utterly gracious best to generate some kind of romantic adventure in his life—with both hilarious and poignant results. This wistful ode to women and amusingly bittersweet commentary on men and aging will put a smile on your face.