• (L - R) 'God Willing', 'The Great Beauty', 'I Am Love', 'The Girl in the Fog'. (SBS)Source: SBS
Grab a good coffee or a vino and enjoy these contemporary Italian films now streaming at SBS On Demand. Viva il cinema!
By
SBS Movies

16 Oct 2020 - 10:54 AM  UPDATED 13 May 2021 - 12:17 PM

My Big Gay Italian Wedding

M
Italy, 2018
Genre: Comedy
Language: Italian
Director: Alessandro Genovesi
Starring: Diego Abatantuono, Monica Guerritore, Cristiano Caccamo, Salvatore Esposito, Dino Abbrescia, Diana Del Bufalo
What's it about?
Antonio has finally found the love of his life, Paolo, with whom he lives happily in Berlin. Even if still not sure about their families’ reactions, they decide to get married in Italy, in the small village from where Antonio’s parents live. His mother, Anna, immediately accepts their intentions, as long as all traditions are respected: the future mother-in-law will have to attend the wedding, a famous wedding planner will be in charge of the organisation and the marriage will be celebrated by her husband, Roberto, the mayor of the town, who has based all his politics on hospitality and integration. Joined by their bizarre friends Benedetta and Donato, the two fiancées start to prepare the ceremony, but will Paolo’s conservative mother, Vincenza, attend the wedding? And, above all, will Roberto support his son?

 

Perfect Strangers

M
Italy, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: Italian
Director: Paolo Genovese
Starring: Valerio Mastandrea, Kasia Smutniak, Marco Giallini, Alba Rohrwacher, Anna Foglietta, Giuseppe Battiston, Edoardo Leo, Benedetta Porcaroli, Elisabetta De Palo, Tommaso Tatafiore, Noemi Pagotto
What's it about?
Seven long-time friends gather one night for a dinner party and agree that no private calls or messages will disrupt their evening. Instead, in a communal fit of ‘we have nothing to hide’ bravado, they place their devices on the table, and all incoming calls and texts are shared with the group. But what seems at first like an innocent and playful distraction between friends quickly turns into something more, as the messages start to reveal some eye-opening secrets and how little they may truly know about each other.

This comedy of manners from Paolo Genovese is a fiendishly clever take on decorum in the age of modern technology, and poses the question: how well do we really know those close to us? The film has gone on to be remade in Mexico, South Korea, Germany, China, France, Turkey, Spain, Greece and Poland with another in pre-production in Egypt/Lebanon. Talk about a winning concept! 

 

Happy as Lazzaro

M
France, Italy, Switzerland, 2018
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Language: Italian
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Starring: Adriano Tardiolo, Agnese Graziani, Luca Chikovani, Alba Rohrwacher, Sergi López
What's it about?
This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination.  Life in their isolated pastoral village Inviolata is dominated by the terrible Marchesa Alfonsina de Luna, the queen of cigarettes. A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping. This strange and improbable alliance is a revelation for Lazzaro. A friendship so precious that it will travel in time and transport Lazzaro in search of Tancredi. His first time in the big city, Lazzaro is like a fragment of the past lost in the modern world. Written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher and it was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay Award.

 

Dogman

M
Italy, 2018
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Language: Italian
Director: Matteo Garrone
Starring: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano
What's it about?
In an Italian suburb somewhere between metropolis and wild nature, Marcello, a small and gentle dog groomer, finds himself involved in a dangerous relationship of intimidation with Simone, a former violent boxer who bullies the entire neighbourhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will submit to an unexpected act of vengeance.

 

The Girl in the Fog

M
Germany, France, Italy, 2017
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Language: Italian
Director: Donato Carrisi
Starring: Toni Servillo, Jean Reno, Alessio Boni, Lorenzo Richelmy, Galatea Ranzi, Michela Cescon, Greta Scacchi
What's it about?
Based on the bestselling novel by Donato Carrisi and starring Italian great Toni Servillo, The Girl in the Fog is a gripping and chilling thriller that brings us to a hazy mountain village where enigmatic Detective Vogel is investigating the sudden disappearance of fifteen-year-old Anna Lou. But with the case at the heart of a media storm, the fine line between the police and criminals begins to blur and soon everyone becomes a suspect.

 

The Great Beauty

MA15+
Italy, 2013
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: Italian
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso
What's it about?
Our second Toni Servillo film sees him in a contemporary quasi-update on Fellini's La Dolce Vita.  Servillo plays Jep Gambardella, an overstimulated raconteur who enjoys the city’s social life to the full. He attends chic dinners and parties, where his sparkling wit and refined company are always welcome. Jep's early success as a writer was unmatched and has paved the way for a life spent performing as a Roman intellectual. The act of turning 65 heralds a shock from the past, causing Jep to look beyond the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who is also the creator of TV series The Young Pope and its sequel The New Pope, this film went on to win the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2014 Academy Awards.

The Great Beauty: Toni Servillo interview
The Great Beauty Review

 

Loro

MA15+
France, Italy, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: Italian
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Toni Servillo, Elena Sofia Ricci, Riccardo Scamarcio, Kasia Smutniak, Euridice Axén, Fabrizio Bentivoglio
What's it about?
Our third Toni Servillo film again teaming up with award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino (The Young Pope) who unpeels the complex personality and motivations of the billionaire former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during a tumultuous period in his career, as his marriage to second wife Veronica Lario fractures; all the while skilfully threading together stories of a wide variety of characters from different levels of society and their attempts to either ingratiate or distance themselves from him.

Paolo Sorrentino and Toni Servillo take on Silvio Berlusconi in 'Loro'

 

Black Souls 

M
Italy, 2015
Genre: Drama, Crime
Language: Italian
Director: Francesco Munzi
Starring: Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Fabrizio Ferracane, Barbora Bobulova, Anna Ferruzzo
What's it about?
Organised crime continues in this thrilling and dramatic tale of Mafia crime seen through the eyes of one Calabrian family. In a place where blood ties and vendetta still hold sway, Black Souls is the story of three brothers – the sons of shepherds with ties to the ‘Ndrangheta – and their divided lives. Eldest brother and goat farmer, Luciano, has turned his back on the family drug operation his 20-year-old son Leo finds so appealing. But a careless act by Leo, aspiring to his uncles' lifestyles, pulls the whole family into a simmering feud. Anywhere else, it would have been dismissed as nothing more than youthful foolishness. But not in Calabria, and especially not in Aspromonte. Instead, it is the spark that lights the fire.

Black Souls review: Tradition is a heartache

 

I Am Love

MA15+
Italy, 2009
Genre: Drama
Language: Italian, Russian
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti
What's it about?
Italian director Luca Guadagnino knows how to make a visually arresting and stylistic film (see Call Me By Your Name or Suspiria) and I Am Love is no exception. Long-time collaborators Guadagnino and Tilda Swinton worked together for seven years to create this social melodrama. Over two decades ago, Emma left Russia to follow Tancredi Recchi, the man who had proposed to her. Now a member of a wealthy Milanese family, she is the respected mother of three. Although not unhappy, Emma feels confusedly unfulfilled. As cracks in the family façade appear, she is reawakened to the forces of passion and unconditional love when she meets a chef named Antonio. With the family already divided over the elder Recchi's unusual plans, Emma's affair is the wild card that might divide the family for good. 

I Am Love - Review
Why You Should Watch: I Am Love
Dinner and a Movie: I Am Love

 

God Willing

PG
Italy, 2015
Genre: Comedy
Language: Italian
Director: Edoardo Maria Falcone 
Starring: Marco Giallini, Alessandro Gassmann, Laura Morante, Ilaria Spada
What's it about?
This wildly entertaining comedy and multi award-winning debut feature from writer-director Edoardo Falcone is the story of an almighty battle of wills that pits a man with a God complex against a hip local priest. Tommaso is an esteemed and self-confident cardiac surgeon, and an unabashed atheist. But the veneer of his perfect life is abruptly cracked when his only son Andrea brings the family together for an important announcement; he is going to abandon his medical studies to become a priest. Tommaso refuses to accept his son’s newfound vocation and decides to ‘go undercover’ to expose the charismatic Father Don Pietro whom he is convinced has brainwashed his son. Meanwhile the other members of the family – unfulfilled wife Carla and listless daughter Bianca – are provoked by Andrea’s revelation in different ways, undertaking their own renaissance of sorts.

 

The Mafia Kills Only in Summer

M
Italy, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Language: Italian
Director: Pif
Starring: Cristiana Capotondi, Pif, Alex Bisconti 
What's it about?
This film, directed by comedian and satirist Pif, won Best Comedy at the 27th European Film Awards. Inspired by real events, this is a black comedy about the history of Sicily from the 1970s to the 1990s, mocking Mafia bosses and restoring the generosity of the heroes of Antimafia. It focuses on our precocious hero Arturo from childhood to maturity, wittily examining the pervasive influence the Cosa Nostra (Sicilian Mafia) holds over the everyday lives of his family and community as he commences a lifelong romantic pursuit of beautiful classmate and neighbour Flora.

 

Boys Cry

MA15+
Italy, 2018
Genre: Crime, Drama
Language: Italian
Director: Damiano D'Innocenzo, Fabio D'Innocenzo
Starring: Andrea Carpenzano, Matteo Olivetti, Milena Mancini 
What's it about?
Mirko and Manolo are best friends and live in the suburbs of Rome. They both live in poor conditions with their single parents, are still in school and work occasional odd jobs to make ends meet. Together they share dreams of women, of sex and money, of a better life to come. After killing a man in a hit-and-run one night, they get involved with the local mafia and their lives change dramatically. Soon they find themselves doing the dirty work for their new bosses and have fresh blood on their hands. But lured by the dreams of easy money and illusions of a thriving career, they fail to realise the consequences of their choice. Life in the underworld becomes exceedingly tough and Mirko and Manolo soon disconnect from family and friends as they dive into a downward spiral, a pathway towards darkness.

 

Sicilian Ghost Story

MA15+
Italy, 2017
Genre: Drama, Crime
Language: Italian
Director: Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza
Starring: Julia Jedlikowska, Gaetano Fernandez, Corinne Musallari 
What's it about?
This 2017 Italian drama is based on short story 'The White Knight' which is based on the Sicilian mafia's real-life kidnapping of a 13-year-old boy in 1993. Against a heavy cloak of secrecy, a 12-year-old girl smitten with her handsome classmate rebels against the code of silence and collusion that surrounds her, ventures deeper and deeper into the enchanted Sicilian forests to find him, unaware of just how thick is the mystery behind his strange disappearance. Merging genres of drama, crime and fantasy, this film has notes of Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth as a chilling story seen through the fantastical eyes of a child.

 

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Dinner and a Movie: ‘The Kids Are All Right’ and kimchi hot dogs
Match a meal from SBS Food with a movie at SBS On Demand, for the perfect night in.
Dinner and a Movie: ‘Big Night’ and seafood risotto
Match a meal from SBS Food with a movie at SBS On Demand, for the perfect night in.
Take a mind-blowing tour of the world’s wildest genre with ‘James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction’
The director of ‘The Terminator’, ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Avatar’ gathers together some of sci-fi’s luminaries to get down to brass tacks in this fascinating documentary series.
Modern Masterpieces Collection now streaming at SBS On Demand
These 21st century films from around the world are sure to become cinema classics. You can stream them now as part of the Modern Masterpieces Collection at SBS On Demand.
Arthouse film essentials now streaming at SBS On Demand
These films at SBS On Demand offer you something just a little bit different. Film festival favourites that can mystify, stun and take your breath away? It can only be arthouse cinema.
Dinner and a Movie: ‘Volver’ paired with Spanish omelette
Match a meal from SBS Food with a movie at SBS On Demand, for the perfect night in.
Kelly Reichardt is one of the best filmmakers working today
And the ‘Wendy and Lucy’ and ‘Certain Women’ director has the resume to prove it.