Watch La famiglia
- 2 hr 7 min
La famiglia, also known as The Family, is a 1987 Italian drama film directed by Ettore Scola. Set in Rome, the film depicts the lives of three generations of a wealthy family, spanning from the post-World War II period to the 1980s. The film explores the complexities of family dynamics, societal changes, and the evolution of Italy over the course of several decades. The patriarch of the family is Carlo (Vittorio Gassman), a successful businessman who has built his fortune from scratch, and who is now facing his twilight years. His wife, Giulia (Fanny Ardant), is a French woman who has assimilated into Italian culture, and who represents the bohemian side of the family. Their three children are Renato (Philippe Noiret), a left-wing university professor who has always been at odds with his father's conservative views; Paolo (Andrea Occhipinti), a carefree playboy who struggles to find his place in the world; and Valeria (Stefania Sandrelli), a neurotic housewife who seeks solace in her affairs with other men. As the family gathers for Carlo's 80th birthday, tensions and conflicts rise to the surface, revealing the cracks in their seemingly perfect facade. Renato challenges Carlo's authority, Paolo is involved in a love affair with a transgender person, and Valeria's infidelity is exposed. Throughout these tumultuous events, Carlo remains stoic and detached, struggling to maintain his grip on his family and his legacy. As the film progresses, the audience is given a glimpse into the family's past through flashbacks, which reveal Carlo's rise to power and the sacrifices he made for his family. The flashbacks also show the family's involvement in Italian politics, with Renato's activism and Paolo's flirtation with fascism. These scenes serve to provide context and depth to the characters, and to show how the family has evolved over time. The film is notable for its strong performances by the lead actors, particularly Gassman, Ardant and Sandrelli, who each bring distinct personalities to their roles. The film's cinematography is also noteworthy, with beautiful shots of Rome and a visual style that emphasizes the contrast between the family's opulent lifestyle and the changing city around them. La famiglia is a poignant and insightful examination of the complexities of family relationships, and how they evolve with time. The film is a testament to the power of storytelling, and how it can illuminate the human experience in profound ways. While it may be a product of its time, La famiglia remains a classic of Italian cinema, and a must-see for anyone interested in the art of filmmaking.