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Movie Review: The Way We Laughed

Story: Written and directed by Gianni Amelio (L'America, Il Ladro Bambini) this sepia toned film is an homage to the struggles of Sicilians as they migrate to Northern Italy to find better lives. The story takes place over six years from 1958-1964. It involves the close ambivalent relationship between two brothers. It is about family, love, sibling devotion, struggle and sacrifice. It is divided into six chapters entitled Arrivals, Betrayals, Money, Letters, Blood and Families. It won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival three years ago. Foreign films hold my interest because they usually make you think and everything is not always spelled out for you by the end of the picture. They tend to treat the audience as if they have some intelligence. Bravo!

Acting: Enrico Lo Verso (Il Ladro Bambini) as the older brother, has a fabulous, expressive face and is an incredible actor. Francesco Guiffrida, as Pietro, the younger brother was also great and had a face that came right out of a Renaissance painting.

Critters: None. But have I told you that my new kitty, Madison is doing just fine?

Food: A bit of pasta, but mostly old bread and cheese. These were poor Italians.

Visual Art: Too dark to see anything on the grimy walls.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Very appropriate as the five years passed by. I was a little surprised when a Neil Sedaka tune was heard at the end of the film.

Opening Titles: Don't remember.

Theater Audience: A smattering of foreign film devotees.

Predictability Level: Had no idea what was going to happen. Actually, we were not too sure after it was over, either.

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Nit Picking: It was such a mood piece it was almost too dark.

Big Screen or Rental: The chance of this coming to a theater near you is slim since it took three years to get to NY. But rent any Italian film, order some pizza and have a good time.

Length: Two hours and four minutes.