Film review: The Beautiful Summer by Laura Luchetti

Prepare to be transported to a mesmerising world of vintage charm and timeless elegance with The Beautiful Summer. Set against the backdrop of Turin in 1938, this Italian cinematic masterpiece captures the essence of a bygone era with breathtaking cinematography and heartfelt storytelling. Italian film-makers have a knack for recreating the drama and romance of early 20th-century life, and The Beautiful Summer is no exception. From the meticulously crafted vintage clothing to the poetic ambience that infuses every frame, it’s clear that capturing the spirit of the past is truly an Italian ‘thing.’ Whether you’re a connoisseur of sophisticated storytelling or simply appreciate timeless elegance, The Beautiful Summer is a must-see.

Catch a screening at the Cinema Made in Italy 2024 festival at Cine Lumiere this week and immerse yourself in its captivating beauty and profound storytelling.

the beautiful summer la bella estate movie collage
 

The story

Freely adapted from the homonymous novel by Cesare Pavese, the film tells a universal story about the importance of self-discovery and loving as one wishes. The film is set in Turin in 1938 and follows the story of Ginia (the talented Yile Yara Vianello, almost always present in every frame), a girl who has just moved to the city from the countryside with her protective brother Severino (the greatly appreciated Nicolas Maupas from the series “Mare fuori”, “Il Professore” and “Nudes”), to embrace a future that seems to offer endless possibilities. She starts working in a fashion atelier, where she showcases her talent in designing clothes. One day, while out by the river, she meets Amelia (Deva Cassel, here making her film debut), a girl endowed with innate sensuality who works as a model for painters. It will be Amelia who leads Ginia to discover the artistic environments of bohemian Turin and, above all, to discover herself. Torn between duty and the discovery of a confusing desire, Ginia is overwhelmed by emotions she dares not name.

The trailer 

 

The verdict

The Beautiful Summer gracefully transports viewers to Turin in 1938, a time brimming with anticipation and the promise of infinite possibilities. Italian film-makers excel in recreating the atmosphere of bygone eras, seamlessly blending vintage aesthetics with poignant storytelling. Laura Luchetti’s adaptation of Cesare Pavese’s novel captures the essence of youth and self-discovery with exquisite cinematography and a profound narrative.

Set against the backdrop of pre-World War II Italy, the film immerses audiences in the vibrant yet tumultuous world of Ginia, a young woman navigating the complexities of love and identity. Yile Yara Vianello and Deva Cassel deliver brilliant performances, infusing their characters with depth and authenticity.

Luchetti skilfully explores themes of desire, liberation, and the transformative power of self-acceptance. Through Ginia’s journey, we witness the evolution of a young woman coming into her own, grappling with societal expectations and embracing her true essence.

The Beautiful Summer is a delicate reflexion on the universal quest for authenticity and the courage to follow one’s heart. It reminds us of the timeless relevance of Pavese’s narrative, resonating with contemporary audiences dense with issues of identity and freedom.

 

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