Bread And Tulips (pane E Tulipani)

on August 10, 2001 by Chris Wiegand
Already a huge hit in its native Italy, "Bread and Tulips" is a delightful feature that is as charming as its title and as beautiful as its Venetian setting. The film was a resounding success at this year's Regus London Film Festival, where it played to packed audiences.

Rosalba (Licia Maglietta), an accident-prone housewife in her 40s, is accidentally left behind at a service station while on a coach holiday with her family. She defiantly decides to hitchhike her way back home on her own and en route decides that it would be fun to travel to Venice, as she has always wanted to visit the city. Rosalba spends an enjoyable and liberating day in Venice and when she misses her train home she is glad to spend another night there. Upon seeing an advertisement for employment in a flower shop, she immediately applies for the job and when she gets it she sets about starting a new life for herself. However, her idyllic existence in Venice lasts only a short time before she is drawn back to her family loyalties.

Silvio Soldini's warm and affectionate film features a sensational central performance from Licia Maglietta as Rosalba, as well as some marvellous comic turns from the supporting actors. Bruno Ganz, in particular, gives an assured performance as Fernando, a depressive ex-con with whom Rosalba slowly falls in love. The cast of impressively distinctive and unique characters includes an eccentric old florist with anarchic tendencies, a masseuse (Rosalba's new neighbour) who dreams of finding new love and a hardworking yet hilariously inept amateur private detective who is hired by Rosalba's husband to track down his wife. This is a small gem of a picture and is the kind of movie that Sunday afternoons were made for. Starring Licia Maglietta, Bruno Ganz and Antonio Catania. Directed by Silvio Soldini. Written by Doriana Leondeff and Silvio Soldini. Produced by Daniele Maggioni. A First Look release. Comedy. Italian-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 115 min.

Tags: Licia Maglietta, Bruno Ganz, Antonio Catania, Silvio Soldini, Doriana Leondeff, foreign, Italy, marriage, separation, road trip, hitchhiking, sightseeing, escape

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