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Plot:

Dino Ossola, a small-time real estate agent who dreams of bigger things ; Serena Ossola, his teenage daughter who dates a spoilt rich brat ; Carla Bruneschi, an actress who has given up her career to marry a wealthy businessman ; Massimiliano Giovanni Bernaschi, her husband, a powerful player ; Massimiliano Bernaschi, the troubled son of the Bernaschis’ ; Roberta Ossola, a psychologist, Dino’s second wife ; Donato Russomano, a brilliant drama teacher who is stuck on Carla ; Luca Ambrosini, a teenager frowned upon by others ; an anonymous cyclist… They are all shareholders of the human capital. Errr… all? Really?

Also Known As: Die süße Gier, İnsan Sermayesi, Esélylesők, Hon enoshi, Il capitale umano, El capital humano, Les opportunistes, Cloveski kapital, Cilvēka vērtība, Il Capitale Umano, Чoвешкият капитал, 人命大富翁, Цена человека, Το ανθρώπινο κεφάλαιο, Menneskelig kapital, Human Capital, Kapitał ludzki, Capital Humano, Girighetens pris, 人間の値打ち, Ahneuden hinta

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  • pan-konstanty-klysz
    pan konstanty klysz

    Dino Ossola is an unpleasant guy. Being myself Italian – and even from the same area of the story – I know well that very specific type of Italian nastiness. Dino is arrogant, greedy, superficial, mean and stupid. A little man who cares only about himself. He has a daughter from a previous marriage (Serena) and a new partner, Roberta, pregnant with twins. Roberta is a psychiatrist and you can be sure, she is very bad at her job. She seems completely oblivious to the nastiness of her man, to the troubles of her step-daughter and to everything else, including their financial situation.Carla is another female character, also living in a world of her own: a blonde ex-actress, trophy wife of Giovanni, a rich, unscrupulous businessman. Their obnoxious offspring is spoiled and rude Massimiliano. He is Serena’s boyfriend (for a short while). That is how the two families are connected and how the story develops. Serena and Massi, after a short summer fling decide to keep their break-up secret (pretty flimsy plot device, but still…). The night before Christmas, the two families meet for a social dinner that turns into a disaster.Serena leaves to meet her new, secret flame, Luca, a guy from a poor background and a disreputable past, but later into the night, she is called to drive home a very drunk Massi, while the rest of their families is lost in adventures of their own. A crime ensues, and while you might wish the guilty party is the most obvious person, there are a few surprises in store.Most praise goes to Bentivoglio for playing Dino Ossola so convincingly. The other male roles are equally good, from cold businessman Giovanni, to spoiled brat Massi. Lo Cascio has a small part, as a frustrated intellectual with some venom of his own to spit.The female characters are dissatisfactory: two out of three are of the maternal, ineffective, removed-from-reality type. The third, young Serena, is lost in a hormonal tempest of her own and juts as inept as the older women. One can see a difficult life ahead of her, but we must pretend to see the future through rose-tinted glass, because young love is so cute… except it is not. A big loose end is left hanging: did Serena learn of her father’s part in the denouement of the plot? How are thing going in her family?Interesting movie, with a suitable sombre wintery setting, to enhance the desolation of these lost souls.

  • nadja-erzen
    nadja erzen

    ‘Il Capitale Umano’ (‘Human Capital’) is an adaptation to screen of an American novel written by Stephen Amidon, adapted and directed by Paolo Virzì. The story in the book takes place in the US during the economic crisis of 2001 caused by the collapse of the hi-tech market. The action of the film is transferred to Italy in 2008, during the crisis caused by the collapse of the real estate market. Both crises have resulted in spectacular falls in stock market shares, with implications for the savings and financial situation of tens of millions of people, more or less wealthy. The problems are universal, and this kind of global crises have long time ago crossed the borders between states and the world’s economies. The consequences however are local and personal. Starting from the American novel, Paolo Virzì managed to make an intelligent and exciting film, and also very Italian film.While rewriting the novel for screening, Paolo Virzì uses a method that is not original but which he manages skillfully -presenting the same events from three different points of view belonging to different characters. The success of the screenwriter and the director lies in the fact that we find out not only the different details that have been put together which will clarify the story, but we also get to know better the psychology of the characters, belonging to different social backgrounds and different generations. Virzì manages to capture his attention through a fluent story telling and through the psychological and social depth of his heroes’ characterization. Of course, the excellent acting of the whole team of actors only helps (with a special mention for Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, excellent here as well as in all the movies she is on screen).’Human Capital’ is the film of a crisis, and in this crisis each of the characters will be hit sooner or later. The quality of the film lies in the precision with which every character finds its place in the story for and in depth the description of their psychology. The Italian social environment, with its class differences, is excellently rendered. The localization of the story succeeded well to the director. Eventually each of the characters involved will manage to survive one way or another to the crisis. With one exception. It’s a smart, well-written and well-acted film, the kind of which I would love to see as many as possible.

  • vesna-pintar
    vesna pintar

    Completely terrible and pointless. Just a useless story told with different timelines for no reason. With the final message of the movie also being useless and not having anything to do with the rest of the movie (1 viewing)

  • anna-van-der-berg-linschoten
    anna van der berg linschoten

    Although not always for people involved or those who actually want to make a lot of it. Then there are others who just don’t care about it (having a lot of it might add to that secure feeling of course). This movie is about getting rich, about getting into families, about greed and about human behavior in general.In the beginning I thought this was going to be simple. And in a way I guess it is simple. But the way the movie works (the structure, the backtracking, the seeing things from a different perspective and so on) could and might suggest otherwise. You might feel a bit annoyed seeing a couple of things “twice”, but in the grand scheme of it all, it will make sense in the end … although some decisions are so bad, you do wonder why they were taken in the first place … still nicely told.

  • olivia-dennis
    olivia dennis

    Unconvincing acting, ridiculous plot, how on earth it was rated 7.3 on imdb? Do yourself a favour and skip this crap.

  • noemi-nayeli-munoz-marin
    noemi nayeli munoz marin

    An involving drama from Italy, relocated from someplace like Greenwich, CT (the setting of the novel it’s based on) to somewhere near Lake Como—no problem there… It takes place during the mini–financial crisis of 1997, and it’s one of those slightly tricky movies where the main characters each get a “chapter” to themselves, so the tone can vary from scene to scene. First, an overeager investor plays up to a slick hedge-fund guy (Fabrizio Gifuni of “The Best of Youth”) when their teenage kids start dating; this comes across like a broad Alberto Sordi comedy from the 60s. Next, the hedge-fund guy’s regretful wife, a former actress (a great performance by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), tries to reimagine her past while she tours a derelict theater, a haunting scene that recalls Fellini… Finally, picking up from a trigger event in the opening chapter—a cyclist is run off the road by a speeding SUV—the investor’s intense teenage daughter (a great performance by Matilde Gioli) tries to make everything right, and almost succeeds. This “chapter” is played pretty straight, and it moves right along. There’s one of those moments where you may ask yourself, “Why would she…?” (the only possible answer being “Because if she didn’t, there wouldn’t be a movie!”), and the ending may seem a little rushed, but otherwise the pacing’s pretty tight, and, unless you’re a raving free-marketeer, the social commentary is right on the money. Interesting that movie plots can be outsourced now, along with everything else….

  • irene-karlsson
    irene karlsson

    This movie met if not exceeded my expectations before watching this eventful film. I was not aware there was a novel until reading previous comments, and I will make sure to look for this novel as the books always tend to be just a tad better. The actors played their parts rather marvelous! Each character had their own struggles going on, besides the main battle of the movie. By the end of the movie you just felt sorry for some and their way of being/what struggles they were going through. The whole plot was divided into chapters from different characters’ perspectives which helped the viewer understand more what is going on in each characters’ lives (there is a lot). And so because of this you were more in touch with their emotions. It was amazing how there may have been multiple perspectives on the main incident that brings this movie together, however, they all connect just perfectly. Each of the characters which we see input on has a great internal struggle going on, which helps the plot become so much more dramatic and amazing! Hands down would watch this again, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good eventful, dramatic, and changing of a character type of movie!

  • justin-burke
    justin burke

    This movie is about the intersection of two families, one very rich and one merely middle-class, due to the relationship between their kids, and a mystery surrounding a car crash. It’s mostly about family tensions and frustrated aspirations, but you’ve seen it all before, and and you probably were bored then. There is some nice footage of high-class Italian living, and Tedeschi in my opinion is generally worth watching, but many scenes are also ruined by Bentivoglio’s bumbling character and the other revolting males in the cast. Even the nude scene with the young actress barely livens things up. That sounds blasphemous, I know, but that is just how dismal the romance subplot is. And the whole pile of rubbish collapses under the weight of the obnoxious timeline, as if telling a story out of order is enough to add cleverness to a dull and unoriginal plot.

  • orlova-olga-arkadevna
    orlova olga arkadevna

    If you’ve read anything at all about Il Capitale Humano, you might have stumbled on words like ‘whodunit’. This’ll give you the impression you’re about to watch a Miss Marple episode and while this is somewhat the case, it’s also quite far removed from the truth.The film’s structured in four chapters. The first three show the same timespan from differing points of view while the fourth functions as the denouement. There’s a prologue: a working man cycles home late at night and is driven off the road by a driver who quickly tries to pass by him. The cyclist lies there with a serious head injury, helpless. Some time before that, we meet Dino who’s driving his daughter Serena to a friend, Massimiliano, the son of a rich businessman, Giovanni. While they disappear off-screen, we follow Dino in his desperate attempts to befriend the head of the family so he can close a business deal with him. In the next chapter we follow Giovanni’s wife, Carla, who’s has to give up a lot to live her comfortable live, but finds an opportunity to reignite her past passions and interests. The third chapter shows what Serena’s been up to and everything comes together in the final chapter, aptly titled Il Capitale Humano.Needless to say, the first three chapters are structured like a mystery. The mystery of who’s responsible for the accident is slowly uncovered, but it’s not really the central theme. In the end, it’s not a question of ‘whodunit’, but the dynamics between these characters and their positions in society and relative to each other. In this sense, it feels more like an Iñárritu film (Babel, etc.) in that there’s a single incident that causes a butterfly effect, drastically altering the lives of many.In the end, it’s a great tragicomedy about greed and modern life, admittedly overly familiar themes here packaged into a cinematically satisfying whole. The film is particularly aware of the great irony of money being perceived as the way to happiness (though the film thankfully doesn’t fall into the trap of showing the happy poor/middle class and the unhappy rich, a trap Woody Allen fell into when he made Blue Valentine). This is particularly apparent in a scene towards the end where Dino does something drastic for the sake of his and his family’s financial future, an act that will have dire consequences for his daughter. Most characters, especially parental figures, seek to make money out of the conviction it’ll be the end of their (and others’) problems; instead, only more problems are created. The very term ‘human capital’ exemplifies this. How can a human being and his situation be translated into monetary value? Il Capitale Humano has the answer.

  • bayan-mahter-ergul-tarhan
    bayan mahter ergul tarhan

    Directed by Paolo Virzi based on the novel by American author Stephen Amidon this film is one of those that requires full attention so that the myriad aspects of individual views of a lifestyle and an incident seep in slowly.The destinies of two families are irrevocably tied together after a cyclist is hit off the road by a jeep in the night before Christmas Eve. The intertwined cast of characters are Dino Ossola (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), a small-time real estate agent who dreams of bigger things, Serena Ossola (Matilde Gioli), his teenage daughter who dates a spoiled rich brat, Carla Bruneschi (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi – beautiful and brilliant as always), an actress who has given up her career to marry a wealthy businessman, Giovanni Bernaschi (Fabrizio Gifuni), her husband, a powerful player, Massimiliano Bernaschi (Guglielmo Pinelli), the troubled son of the Bernaschis’, Roberta Ossola (Valeria Golino), a psychologist, Dino’s second wife, Donato Russomano (Luigi Lo Cascio), a brilliant drama teacher who is enamored by Carla, Luca Ambrosini (Giovanni Anzaldo), a teenager frowned upon by others, and an anonymous cyclist. They are all shareholders of the human capital. The story is divided into four chapters, seen from the point of view of three characters, plus a final chapter. The score was written and performed by Amy Winehouse. In Italian with English subtitles.A tough movie to watch but on made with sophistication.

  • algis-zorlu
    algis zorlu

    The Human Capital is a different and strange thriller by Paolo Virzì. Characters are introduced in a new world characterized by unsustainable pressure of life, in which the characters alternate between what they are and what they would be. The general framework of daily life is lost sight of when it happens a fact that upsets all the characters, which will be connected by a thin line of conjunction. The main event is unfortunately not strong enough to define all the subject of the film. The film with his conclusion leave the viewer with a feeling of lightness failing to make the film the masterpiece that everyone says. I appreciate the kind of change faced by Virzi, he has created a film based on the thriller by leaving the style of comedy that so far he had faced.

  • hasanghyeon
    hasanghyeon

    When it comes to go to the cinema I am always hesitant, I prefer to go on my own and I am OCD about the location, the seat and the quality of the projection. Anyway there still is a bunch of directors who is able to drag me to an actual cinema and Paolo Virzì will always be a member of this inner circle. The Human Capital based on an American book and transposed into a chilly Lombardy. Two families the first bourgeois and the latter loaded raiding the present economy are linked by their teenager children and by a terrible accident that could change their life. The film is split in four chapter (three named after the lead character and the fourth which is recapitulatory and conclusive), and this narrative technique is old and overindulged, but I understand the choice made in order to play up the thriller side of the film. As for the “something new”, I loved this new setting, Virzì for his first time has gone north exploring the phony world of private school, party and high finance, avoiding triteness with his choice to shoot in Brianza. An honourable mention goes to the cast and especially to Gifuni, Bentivoglio and Bruni Tedeschi. Here we come to “Something borrowed”, without being pedantic Virzì draws fully from the experience of Elio Petri(Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion), Luchino Visconti(Conversation Piece, The Damned) and Tonino Cervi(Portrait of a Bourgeois in Black) without forgetting his origins as a comedy writer interested mostly by the south side of Italy ( Ferie d’Agosto, Ovosodo etc…). And finally “something blue”, looking back to Virzì’s previous production the depression has always been a main theme. In the Human Capital Valeria Bruni Tedeschi is clearly clinically depressed, she lives in a golden cage, killing her time in futile occupation to fulfill her substantial lack of joy, with her big blue eyes and her hoarse voice Bruni Tedeschi really nailed her role, and spiced up a film which wasn’t able to totally get me but I still cannot define a bad film.

  • mr-henry-mclaughlin
    mr henry mclaughlin

    Knowing nothing about this other than it featured Valeria Bruni Tedeschi that was all that was needed to sell it to me. I’ve known, admired, and probably been a little in love with Valeria for several years on the strength of her performances in things like Marion Vernoux’s Rien a faire and here, once again she is back to what she does best, playing fragile and vulnerable and beautiful with it. By pure coincidence I got hold of a DVD of her third film as writer-director-actress Un Château en Italie on the same day I watched this so I got a double shot of Tedeschi. Although I went for Tedeschi the film wasn’t exactly chopped liver; okay, derivative, with more than a touch of the Rashomon’s about it as a tragic accident is seen through the eyes of several protagonists with the truth that has eluded us revealed in the final segment. Along the way there are swipes at Ponzi schemes in all but name, capitalist societies, the dark side of Italian life just for starters. Certainly holds the interest.

  • giga-c-irekize
    giga c irekize

    Greetings again from the darkness. The financial crisis-manslaughter-class warfare-thriller from novelist Stephen Amidon shifts from Connecticut (in the book) to just outside of Milan for director Paolo Verzi’s look at class and character. A term used by insurance companies to calculate the value of a human life in settlement cases, “human capital” carries even more meaning in this twisted tale of greed and broken dreams.After an opening sequence that shows an off-duty waiter getting knocked from his bicycle by a swerving SUV in the dark of night, the story is divided into chapters that provide the various perspectives of different characters affected by this hit-and-run. Dino (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) is a middle-class real estate business owner whose girlfriend (the too rarely seen Valeria Golino) is pregnant with twins, and his daughter Serena (Matilde Gioli) is dating a private school classmate Massimiliano (Guglielmo Pinelli) who comes from the upper crest Bernaschi family that is living the dream thanks to the dad’s (Fabrizio Gifuni) hedge-fund success.It’s easy to see how the lives of these two families become intertwined, and how a few other characters are also affected, but the real joy here is in getting to know each through their own actions. Dino desperately wants a taste of the finer things in life, and risks everything by fraudulently obtaining a bank loan in order to buy into Bernaschi’s hedge fund. His wife Roberta is a trusting and pure-hearted woman who accepts her place in society and warmly looks forward to being a new mom. Their daughter Serena proves to be the best judge of character and soon enough boots the spoiled kid Massimiliano to the curb, while connecting with the artistic and misunderstood Luca (Giovanni Anzaldo), though even Serena’s moral compass shows its cracks.Bernaschi is a smooth operator and the perfect face for a hedge fund so dependent on the financial collapse of its own country. His wife Carla (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) is a lost soul … enjoying the perks of a wealthy lifestyle, but still holding on to her artistic dreams of youth. Life as a trophy wife is evidently not so fulfilling for those with their own aspirations. Their son Massimiliano, as you might imagine, is unable to live up to the expectations of his father, and frequently handles his perceived lack of parental attention by over-boozing at every opportunity.This film was Italy’s submission to the Academy in the Best Foreign Language category, but unfortunately did not make the final cut. It is rich in texture and remarkable in its ability to convey depth in so many characters. The basic story has some similarities to the film 21 Grams, in that we witness the many ways in which people handle crisis. In this case, the mystery of the initial sequence is left unsolved until near the end, but there are so many personal “fork in the road” moments, that solving the case of the cyclist death somehow doesn’t monopolize our thoughts.Excellent acting throughout allows us to connect with each of the key characters, and especially worth noting are Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Matilde Gioli. Ms. Gioli is a newcomer with a bright future. She brings believability and strength to a teenager role that would more typically be over-the-top or one-dimensional in the hands of a lesser actress. Even more impressive is the performance from Ms. Bruni Tedeschi who perfectly captures the heartbreak of a woman living a life others can only dream about, while her own dreams are but shadows from the past.With source material from a U.S. novelist, and subject matter involving the 1% and crisis of conscience, it’s not difficult to imagine an American remake, but this version is highly recommended for those who enjoy a multi-faceted dramatic thriller.

  • dr-paul-mooney
    dr paul mooney

    “Human Capital” (2013 release from Italy; 110 min.) brings the story of two families, whose fates are so different yet intertwined. As the movie opens, we see a staff person bike home late at night after having worked at a big event of some sort. We also see a speeding SUV and the SUV appears to accidentally hit the biker, but doesn’t stop. Whoa! Who was that? What just happened? After the opening credits, we are told we are “Six Months Earlier – Chapter 1 – Dino” and we get to know a number of characters: there is Dino, the real estate guy whose daughter Serena is dating Massimiliano, the son of a hedge-fund manager. Dino convinces the latter to let him buy in, but soon regrets doing so when the market tanks. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you’ll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.Couple of comments: first, this is the big screen version of American author Stephen Amidon’s acclaimed 2005 novel of the same name. How often do you see a big screen adaptation of an American novel that is made abroad, rather than in the US? Director Paolo Virzi transposes the story from Connecticut to Northern Italy very nicely, and along the way adds other elements to make this his own story. Second, the movie works on different levels: there is the immediate question as to what exactly happened at that hit-and-run late night accident (?). Then there is the social commentary about today’s society and the influence of money on people (keep in mind: this is Italy, where they have been going through a Great Recession for YEARS now). The movie is split into 4 chapters, and we rehash more or less the same events from different people’s perspectives (Dino, Carla, Serena). It’s a technique that has been used before, but when executed well, as in this movie, it elevates the movie, as you discover new details in each new perspective of the same events. Last but not least, the movie features a great ensemble cast (there are about 7 or 8 key characters to keep track of). Bottom line: this is a movie that caught my attention from start to finish.This movie is the May, 2015 release of Film Movement’s on-going DVD Of the Month club. No idea why a 2013 release only now gets exposed to US audiences but better late than never I suppose. As always, the Film Movement DVD comes with a number of bonus materials, including an okay “making of”, but far better is the bonus shortie. This time we get “Job Interview”, an excellent 9 min. shortie from Germany about a woman (Lisa) being interviewed by another woman for a job. Just watch! Meanwhile, “Human Capital” is a worthwhile addition to Film Movement’s ever-growing library of foreign and indie movies. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • donald-mack
    donald mack

    This is the opening film of the 7th edition of The Panorama of the European Film in Cairo, watched it in Zawya cinema, HUMAN CAPITAL is this year’s official submission for Oscar Foreign Language Film from Italy, after freshly winning the coveted award for Paolo Sorrentino’s THE GREAT BEAUTY (2013, 8/10) earlier this year. Interestingly, both film are released in 2013 in Italy, so during their face-off in David DI DONATELLO AWARDS (Italy’s equivalent of Oscar), HUMAN CAPITAL was the biggest dark horse, defeated THE GREAT BEAUTY in the BEST FILM competition (with a total 7 wins, including BEST ACTRESS, SUPPORTING ACTOR and ACTRESS, SCREENPLAY and EDITING), although the latter also swept 9 awards including BEST DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, ACTOR, CINEMATOGRAPHY and so on. Thus basically it is an unforeseen win-win game. This is my second Virzì’s film after HARDBOILED EGG (1997, 7/10), and now Virzì has establish his reputation as a master of storytelling, naturally the film is radically dissimilar from the nostalgic élan in Sorrentino’s showpiece, adapted from the American eponymous novel of Stephen Amidon, Virzì ambitiously transposes the story to the Northern Italian town Brianza, at the foot of the Alps and not far from Milan. Two families, one rich and one ordinary, are involved in a hit-and-run accident in the night before Christmas, the film is evenly divided into four chapters, the first three each focuses on one character’s storyline, all mingled together until we would finally get a clue of this whodunit, then the final chapter, details the aftermath of these two families and ends it with a matter-of-fact annotation of what “human capital” literal means in the scenario, and leaves audience a bitter smack of its figurative connotation – how a human being’s self-worth and morality is lost in the rapacious capitalism. Three chapters, first is from the prospect of Dino (Bentivoglio), a middle-aged real estate agent, remarried with Roberta (Golina), a public psychiatrist for delinquents. He takes the advantage of his daughter Serena’s relationship with rich boy Massimiliano (Pinelli) to get closer to the his affluent family, eventually loans money from bank (with a false pretense) and invests it all with his own savings to the hedge fund through Giovanni (Gifuni), Massimiliano’s father, for the sake of rapid profit. Even Roberta’s pregnancy cannot deter him from the gamble. But, things will never be that easy (a pipe dream to good to be true), soon Dino is snubbed by Giovanni and the investment turns out to be a fatal failure. Second chapter concerns Carla (Tedeschi), Giovanni’s wife, getting bored idling away her time, she recollects her passion as a thespian and requests Giovanni to reconstruct a dilapidated theater and tries to run it. Yet, it also turns out to be a castle in the air, out of frustration and disappointment, she seduces Donato (Lo Cascio), a theatrical professor, into a one-night-stand (the same night the accident happens), the next day, she regrets it and ends it with ugly ramifications. A drunken Massimiliano is the main suspect of the accident, but he denies that he was behind the wheels and claims it is Serena who drove him home. So the third chapter is about Serena (Gioli), with whom Massimiliano is one-sidedly infatuated, but in fact she is romantically attracted to a young offender Luca (Anzaldo), and sees his true color under his notorious criminal record and outlandish appearance. Their untainted love is the last unpolluted place before entering the unsavory adulthood, but it would undergo a big test, since one must pay for the crime, however unintentional it is. In the final chapter, after all the melodramatic bedlam, Virzì levelheadedly rounds off the ending with a plausible denouement, Dino cunningly retrieves back his investment (with the promised profit and a detestable request for a kiss), Carla is back on stage as the perfect wife archetype with Giovanni as if nothing has happened as long as money can clear off any blockade in their way and Massimiliano’s charge is dropped, whereas Serena and Luca remain inseparable and hopefully their devotion is stronger than ever. HUMAN CAPITAL is robustly engaging, the story is carefully organized, predictable nonetheless, there are certain moments are faintly stagy or off-putting. Rapid editing manages to leave no tedious repetition although we have to experience the same story three times, but the wobbly camera mobility may cause some fatigue and dizziness, especially in the last chapter. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Fabrizio Gifuni are the MVPs upstage the rest of the cast, it is utterly riveting to watch Carla transits her emotional arc from the convivial pretentiousness to the swearing outburst; and Gifuni’s Giovanni, never under the spotlight, but he sparks each scene with sharp astuteness and daunting callousness, validly counteracts the hammy nuisance from Bentivoglio’s Dino. Golino, if anyone remembers her from RAIN MAN (1988, 8/10), subtly conveys a good-natured persona without ostentatious glamor, it is also reassuring that she has made quite a splash with her director debut HONEY (2013) last year. At any rate, I am not quite rosy about its Oscar journey, a nomination seems to be a long- shot presently, but personally I always welcome those films with potent plot-development and a strong ensemble. Only if HUMAN CAPITAL could be more resiliently challenging to ridicule and censure its own soil of an unjust reality.

  • jouni-paavola
    jouni paavola

    The other reviews already mention a lot. What I absolutely liked was the subtleties, the reality. The characters were very well worked out (and acted!) and it was very convincing. I know- too well – the world on the hill. In general, things are always oversimplified or exaggerated. Not here. Everything else (plot, script, photography etc) was also perfect – but this might well be the first time that I see wealthy characters so truthful.So layered. I cherished it.You come to love most of the characters, with an exception of the father of Serena which I first fell sorry for, but during the movie the opinion gradually changed. Un baccio! Che cazzo. Even the mother of Massimiliano – so well acted! – you feel pity for her. And she looks so empty, so sad.

  • kristina-jankauskas
    kristina jankauskas

    In the closing moments of this intricate drama, “Human capital” is defined as an insurance industry term, referring to the way damages payouts are calculated upon death, partly dependent on the individual’s “emotional bonds”. But the phrase more broadly refers to the way that the productivity and creativity of people can be converted into economic value. These definitions tell us everything we need to know about the themes at hand in Paolo Virzì’s deconstruction of the Italian upper middle.Human Capital is Italy’s entry for next year’s Academy Awards, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a handsome, solid, complex, character-driven drama with an already award-winning performance from Valeria Bruni Tedeschi at its centre. She plays Carla Bernaschi, the wife of a businessman on the cusp of ruin. She persuades him to buy her a crumbling theatre – a pet project – as a gift. But it quickly becomes apparent that the theatre isn’t economically viable. It’ll have to be converted into flats instead.The film is full of such soul-crushing moments. One needn’t look far for metaphors. The various subplots revolve around a car crash (The Crash), and the fallout which threatens to ruin those at the bottom of the social ladder, leaving those at the top untainted. One needn’t, also, look far for comparisons: Paul Haggis’s award-friendly Crash, and the work of Alejandro Iñárritu, in the way that chronologically concurrent stories are shown one after another.But Virzì’s film is less aggravatingly worthy than the work of Haggis and less laborious than Iñárritu’s English-language work. Indeed, the first of four “chapters” plays out with wicked dry humour, as Dino Ossola (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) desperately claws at the deal of a lifetime in order to break into the business elite. He’s trying to seduce that wretched husband of Carla’s, Giovanni (Fabrizio Gigfuni), but he only recognises the capital, not the humanity. It leaves Carla bereft; searching for meaning and affection. Meanwhile, both the Ossolas and the Bernaschis are bound by their kids. Serena Ossola (Matilde Gioli, resembling a younger Eva Green) knows something about the car crash, and the cost of keeping or revealing the secret is where the real meaning of the film’s title will become known.Virzì’s style starts out dead pretty; all fairy tale lighting and wintry wonderlands, mirroring the illusory worlds the wealthy (or would-be-wealthy) inhabit. But as the cost of these characters’ decisions become known, the camera leaves the tripod and the style gets grittier. Virzì is clearly aware of the inherent humour and horror in seeing the same events from multiple perspectives. While comedy gives way to tragedy, the twists and turns don’t feel manipulative, and ultimately this is a story imbued with hope. In part this is due to the villain of the piece – the apparently heartless Giovanni – never being reduced to a mere monster.The structure does mean that at times the chronology of events becomes muddled. It’s not always completely clear how much time is supposed to have passed between scenes, leading to some false impressions of certain relationships. And, inevitably for such a tightly woven story, narrative contrivance and convenience is never far away. But then, what does one expect from a morality play? And a thoroughly modern one at that. This is an intelligent, accessible film, wise to focus on the most interesting characters in the room: those on the margins; those with most to lose. A fine contender.

  • ritva-markkanen-huttunen
    ritva markkanen huttunen

    I have always been struck by the sentence in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY (1925) used to describe Tom and Daisy Buchanan as “destructive” in the sense that they have a lot of money, but that renders then totally indifferent to human suffering, especially that of the eponymous hero.Through the ingenious of three interlinked stories, each depicting the same incident, Paolo Virzi’s film achieved a similar effect. A man is knocked off his bicycle on Christmas Eve by someone driving an SUV; the action leading up to and including that incident over the previous six months is narrated from Dino Ossola’s (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) perspective, from that of his daughter Serena (Matilde Gioli) and that of their rich acquaintance’s wife Carla (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi). The story is relatively straightforward, involving Carla’s husband Giovanni (Fabrizio Gifuni), her son Massimiliano (Guglielmo Pinelli), and a young man wrongfully accused of drug possession who has received psychiatric counseling (Gigio Alberti).What we learn from the narrative is how Giovanni lives an affluent existence that renders him totally insensible to the sufferings of others. He believes that money can buy anything, even justice. We see him mostly in interior sequences, in a rich-looking house surrounded by guests. Carla believes there is more to life than simply money, but apparently cannot countermand her husband’s will. Money produces servility. Massimiliano has the same indifference to others as his father; so long as he has the chance to sleep in his own bed and enjoy driving his new “beast” – the SUV involved in the accident – then his existence is fulfilled.Morally speaking. Dino’s existence is not much better, as he invests €700,000 in one of Giovanni’s schemes and loses virtually nine- tenths of his capital. In revenge he tries to blackmail Carla for €900,000 plus a kiss; the fact that this scene takes place in a theater underlines the theme of the film, that these people are merely performing in life, rather than trying to understand its vicissitudes.In plot-terms, HUMAN CAPITAL can be approached as a murder-mystery, as we are led down various blind alleys until we discover who actually killed the cyclist. In thematic terms, however, the film is far more preoccupied with showing the depths to which people can sink in their attempts to avoid confronting the truth about their existences and live instead in their financial bubbles, both mental as well as tangible.

  • pani-agnieszka-koczara
    pani agnieszka koczara

    The opening shots are high angle looking down first on post-festive detritus, then on the driveway of a lavish estate. Is this a bird’s eye view or that of the gods? Paolo Virzi’s drama is about a venal, godless society. Its opening perspective is the vulture’s.The title phrase is explained in an end title. It’s the compensation calculation an insurance company makes for a dead person’s survivors, based on age, earning potential and emotional bonds. Until then it’s an implicit metaphor for the reduction of people to commodities, to be bought and sold, invested with and abandoned.Across the social range the characters reveal a predatory humanity (if that were not a contradiction in terms). At the low end the impetuous young druggie Luca appears to have been exploited by his rough, seedy but ostensibly protective uncle. Luca took the rap on a drug possession charge. At the high end Giovanni Bernaschi lives opulently on his profits from a notoriously successful hedge fund. In the middle, a small real estate company owner and eternal patsy Dino wants a big score. Taking advantage of his daughter Serena’s relationship with Giovanni’s son Massimiliano, Dino coaxes him to let him invest 700,000 euros in the fund, all of which he borrows, reducing his business and risking his house as collateral.Once he has hooked his prey Giovanni’s friendship with Dino oddly cools. Then two disasters strike.The first disaster — for the hedge fund that thrives by selling short, counting on companies’ failures — is a surprisingly buoyant economy. Gino’s holding shrinks to 70,000 and his public psychologist wife announces she’s pregnant. Blessings can be afflictions. Then Massimiliano gets bombed at a party and his family’s SUV causes a fatal collision with a bicyclist. The hedge fund is threatened with bankruptcy and Massi seems set for jail. His only alibi is Serena’s insistence that she drove him home. A reduction in the Bernaschis’ social circle looms. Dino finds the truth on his daughter’s email. She’s covering for Luca, who driving back the SUV hit the cyclist. As any responsible father and citizen would do, Dino threatens to destroy this evidence and let Massimiliano carry the can to the can unless Giovanni pays 980,000 euros (his investment plus 40% profit) into Dino’s new Swiss account — and wife Carla Bernaschi gives Dino “a real kiss — on the mouth.” So everyone gets a happy ending — especially when (oh joy) the economy collapses and the short-selling hedge fund triumphs. There is no mention of the ordinary folk whose lives are ruined when the economy collapses. Even Luca, whose arrest curtails his suicide attempt, serves out his manslaughter sentence and has Serena waiting for him. The victims are as clear as the vultures. Wife Carla is a complicitous victim bird in her gilded cage, subject to her husband’s demands and exclusions. He promises to fund her resurrection of an old theatre, then sells it for condos instead. She’s again victimized when the theatre professor she makes her artistic director exploits her vulnerability for a one-night stand, then vituperates her for refusing to have an affair. Then she has to kiss the repulsive Dino, who starts out a victim then gloriously grows into a vulture, profiting from others’ tragedies. The only solid characters are Dino’s partner and his daughter Serena. They by reflex and faithfully protect the victims they meet. Only they genuinely care for anyone but themselves.

  • marianne-lehtonen
    marianne lehtonen

    Lately I have been watching lots of movies from the book adaptation and here it comes another one. This time an English language novel transformed into an Italian movie. But what I heard is that a few changes were made to bring the Italian flavor. Well, what could I say more, if you know the director you will say he’s the right person to make it happen and he did excellently. Recruited the best cast and extracted best out of them.The story of the two families narrated in the different streams when a cyclist got hit by a car on the Christmas eve. So the question has been asked, how did it happen? And who did it? The characters from two families begin to expose their role on that accident night revealing who did what. Dino, a realtor sees an opportunity to get into a big earning league so he decides to invest a large amount on it. Followed by the recession he has to face the reality of business that puts his life on a stake. Carla, the wife of a multimillionaire gives a financial support for the struggling company. Later she has to let it go when her husband’s business begins to fall apart. Serena, the daughter of Dino and Massimiliano, son of Carla are the close friends. Their story follows where one of them finds their true love and another one get into sadness for some reason. When all these three episodes concludes the final chapter begins to unveil the truth with a twist.”I know it does not look much like you, I tend to make things uglier.”The story was told in layers which were divided into the four chapters. The story that happened between the particular timeline was repeated again and again with another character’s perspective and with different camera angles till truth reveals in the final chapter. As it’s still developing the opening was confusing which was the first chapter. Without holding-up in development, it straight goes with the main intention of the theme. If you pass that then the following segments interest you to make you guess the possibilities the suspense it hold. Kind of impossible to predict because of the introduction of the related characters to the particular incident consumed by the three quarters of the film. Which mean twist comes at the latter part which was really a good one. Each character that comes in the different episodes were incredible. Like, for a moment it was unhooked from the rest and centralizes that specific story stream, but the common event holds the story all together. I liked all the main characters, but the character Serena steals the final show. The role who played it was a new face and I kind see a great career ahead of her. (God, she’s kind of attractive, hope its not me the only one to say that.) This was one of the recent best neo-noir. If somebody asks, I definitely recommend it.

  • pantoula-basileiou
    pantoula basileiou

    I have seen many movies in the last months, but this is very remarkable! I don’t remember one that can be compared with. Amazing history, from Stephen Amidon’s book, but located in Brianza, a very rich address(one of the richest in Europe), near Milan, Italy. Wonderful actors: Fabrizio Bentivoglio a ‘stupid’ house-agent (10/10), Fabrizio Gifuni the typical ‘rich’ Milanese, arrogant & heartless (10/10), Valeria Golino a very compassionate psychologist (10/10),Matilde Gioli a beautiful and ‘alternative’ girl(yes in Italy Gioli is pronounced like Angelina Jolie) 10/10, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (sister of the famous Carla Bruni Sarkozy) an empty minded woman in search of herself, but who pronounces the final sentence of the movie (10/10). Who killed the waiter in that foggy night? Wonderful photography by Jerome Almeras. In my heart I give one Oscar to this movie!

  • luana-oliveira
    luana oliveira

    I went to see this movie mainly because it was shot in surroundings I know very well (the surroundings of Varese, in the north of Italy)and was more curious than interested. In the end, I had to say I saw a good movie, with a good photography but also a convincing story, based on an American novel, but fit for a movie which lies between a thriller and a social portrait, showing some evils of contemporary Italy. The splitting of the story into four chapters, seen from the point of view of three characters, plus a final chapter, may not be that original but works effectively and keeps the viewer’s attention alive for almost two hours. So, considering the mediocrity of Italian contemporary cinematography, it is a good product and I also appreciated the performances of the whole cast, with Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Fabrizio Gifuni at their best. In my country the movie was criticized for pointing the finger at the north of Italy as the source of contemporary decadence: on the whole, besides its ideological orientation, I found it more entertaining than socially committed or politically sided.