A rare film
This is a superb examination of a couple -- Elsa (Margherita Buy), and Michele (Antonio Albanese) -- who endure a growing common malady of contemporary society: what happens when a contented, upper-class man (Albanese), through a twist of fate, loses his high-paying job at a company that he co-founded?
From a life of bourgeois leisure, expensive meals, yachting off the coast of Genoa, and lavish vacations, Elsa and Michele suddenly find themselves selling their apartment, yacht and everything else and settling for something far less than they ever imagined.
This is a rare film that shows the rapid decline of two people's lives, and how they come to terms with it.
It is a rare treat to see a film that, despite its subject matter, is never maudlin or sentimental and (surprisingly) never, for a moment, boring. The NY Times aptly called it 'a very adult film'. (I think that's shorthand for 'it's not a Hollywood film'.)
What a treat to see a film that shows us how powerful filmmaking can really be when it has a dead-on accurate script, superb acting, terrific editing and pacing, and precise direction. And all without a whiff of the now-omnipresent (and cartoonish) computer-generated enhancement. It's straight drama with some humour added, and it's an outstanding achievement.