Director: Gianni Di Gregorio | Script: Marco Pettenello, Gianni Di Gregorio | Cast: Gianni Di Gregorio (Astolfo), Stefania Sandrelli (Stefania), Alfonso Santagata (Carlo), Mauro Lamantia (Daniel), Alberto Testone (Oreste), ea | Time to play: 97 minutes | Year: 2022
Clint Eastwood has directed so many movies since then that he is better known as an author than an actor. He sometimes casts himself, usually not. In any case, it’s a smart way to keep working in an industry that would otherwise hardly offer you work. The Italian Gianni Di Gregorio is also one of them, he is not limited to starring Astolfo but he also wrote the script and directed it. But Eastwood knows how to tell stories, Di Gregorio has yet to learn.
Astolfo is forced to leave his apartment in Rome in his old age. He is descended from the nobility, so somewhere in a village he still has a large property partly in his name. Go back to him, but not everyone is happy about it. Despite some slight misadventures, he meets the widow Stefania for whom he unexpectedly begins to develop feelings. But he doesn’t know if he should start something new at this age.
Romance is one of many plots in Astolfo. The problem is that all the other lines of execution don’t round or work at all. When Astolfo walks through his dilapidated villa for the first time, he encounters a squatter. The man was born and raised in the village, and without saying a word, he can continue to live there.
A little later, while shopping, Astolfo meets a man who claims to be a cook. From then on he is also a constant presence in Astolfo’s house. Soon after, a younger man comes to fix Astolfo’s gas stove, another regular guest at his kitchen table. Great, is it going to be a movie about the creation of a charming hotel? No. This is just Astolfo’s entourage, it’s not going anywhere.
Astolfo’s room is inaccessible, because his neighbor has boarded it up and uses it as a recreation room for the town’s youth. Astolfo angrily marches towards the neighbor, but as soon as he comes face to face the conversation calms down and he accepts it immediately. Astolfo’s farm, a forest, has just been taken over by the mayor. Same story: get angry, take little action, it is what it is, end of story.
From these situations it could be concluded that a person should not be so committed to material things, and that letting go is not the end. Or you can see it as a criticism of the state that just takes things. Invent something good, because Astolfo in itself does not offer a clear explanation. It seems more like this is just a weak scenario that wants to introduce some conflicts without bothering to elaborate or make sense of them.
Like Astolfo’s new group of friends. He is welcoming and charming. But what exactly is he supposed to represent? Especially that younger guy, he’s not really believable that he wants to spend his time with goats four times his age. There is no scene showing that he feels more comfortable among the elderly, he doesn’t even have a conversation with them. He is there. Everyone is there.
In a way, this movie seems to be a representation of the quiet, almost carefree life of an older person. You keep babbling, there’s a little talking, a little problem comes up that can’t be helped, so nothing is done about it; That has its charm, but it is not a story. No doubt about that Astolfo wants to get from A to B, but with as little effort as possible.
The acting is certainly not bad, but it is clearly acted. It’s text on paper that needs to be spoken, which is why most do it with such enthusiasm that it doesn’t seem organic. I have no idea why Stefania is the woman who makes Astolfo’s heart beat faster. She is polite, but she also radiates that she prefers to be left alone.
some will Astolfo watch a lovely little real life movie. In any case, he proves that living in that part of Italy guarantees daily enjoyment of the sun, a beautiful landscape and picturesque streets. But even a ‘slice of life’ movie needs to have an underlying plot and theme, and those seem to be absent here. At an unexpected moment, the credits suddenly roll over the screen and say, “This is what you have to see.” You can accept that as an Astolfo, or not.