The beautiful Italian drama, “A Casa Nostra” [Eng. Title: Our Country] is the product of keen observation of human behaviour, coupled with great story-telling. Contrary to some reviews that this could be better of a novel, I think the screenplay has been imaginatively designed for cinema, thanks to its director Francesca Comencini, who also co-authored the story.
The story follows at least eight different persons, many of them disconnected with the other, but whose paths cross organically as the film progresses. It is Milan in autumn, and all the main characters have issues of some kind, and are less than happy. While the film doesn’t rest too much hope on their salvation – it is unapologetically downbeat – it nevertheless is sympathetic to their concerns, and tries to make sense of their plight. The main strand around which these characters engage, is enterprising Police officer Rita’s attempts to bring local business tycoon Ugo to book for financial crimes. Around them you have Ugo’s deeply depressed wife Lucilla, his mistress and supermodel Elodie, and her secret lover Gerry, already married to a nurse, and Rita’s boyfriend Matteo. You also have Romanian prostitute Blanca, and Otello, a customer who falls in love with her. All these characters soon become relevant to the film’s theme, which is about reclaiming the right to dream of a better future.
The film is very well made with competent performances from all concerned – the direction, screenplay and editing is particularly impressive, as is the excellent cinematography, capturing Milan in its autumnal sadness. Recommended Viewing.