Human Capital (Il capitale umano)
Director : Paolo Virzì
Cast : Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Matilde Gioli, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Italy, France 2013 111 mins.
Released by: ARROW FILMS
'A slick witty and engrossing character driven class critique.'
Estate agent, Dino (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), sees a chance to climb the social ladder when he drops his daughter Serena (Matilde Gioli) off to visit her boyfriend Massimiliano (Guglielmo Pinelli), the son of hedge fund investor Giovanni Bernaschi (Fabrizio Gifuni). Dino wants in and when Giovanni suggests a mere €500,000 he puts his house and business up as collateral.
An accidental hit-and-run accident after a school awards ceremony one night before Christmas begins the whodunnit and becomes the catalyst that links the destinies of the two families and with the onset of the financial crisis things seem to be going pear shaped.
Adapted from Stephen Amidon's Connecticut based novel and transposed to Brianzi near Milan, it's a class critique well suited to that region of Italy. Unhappiness touches rich and poor and envy, greed, money, death and the love of family knows no bounds. They're all there, the wealthy and bored wife Carla (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), with aspirations of artistic patronage, two misunderstood and emotionally neglected teenagers Serena and Massimiliano, Dino’s wife Roberta (Valeria Golino), pregnant with twins, unable to comprehend the possibility of financial ruin and Serena, an alienated daughter in the throes of personal crisis.
An Italian box office success, 'Human Capital' is a slick character driven whodunnit drama in the guise of a soap opera that's witty and engrossing and won Best Picture at Italy's David di Donatello Awards (Italy's Oscars). Bit of a surprise there because Paolo Sorrentino's 'The Great Beauty' was top of my list.