The comedy “Il Grande Giorno” with Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo and the Sky preview “His Dark Materials 3” BBC-HBO series

After “Avatar. La via dell’acqua” by James Cameron and “The Fabelmans” by Steven Spielberg, another title expected during the holiday season is the Italian comedy “Il Grande Giorno” by Massimo Venier with Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, out on December 22 in 600 copies with Medusa Film and in collaboration with Prime Video. In preview, thanks to Sky, we saw the first episodes of the BBC-HBO series “His Dark Materials. His Dark Materials” with Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy

(Photo Aliocha Merker)

Christmas at the cinema. After “Avatar. La via dell’acqua” by James Cameron and “The Fabelmans” by Steven Spielberg, another title expected during the holiday season is the Italian comedy “Il Grande Giorno” by Massimo Venier with Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, out on December 22 in 600 copies with Medusa Film and in collaboration with Prime Video. Brilliant reflection with flashes of biting irony on marriage from a parental perspective, moving on the track of well-known titles starting with “The Father of the Bride”. The music is by the singer-songwriter Brunori Sas. In preview, thanks to Sky, we saw the first episodes of the BBC-HBO series “His Dark Materials. These Dark Materials” with Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy, third and final season of Philip Pullman’s cycle of novels. On Sky Atlantic and Now from 21.12. The point Cnvf-Sir.

“The Big Day” (at the cinema, from 22.12)

The comedy trio Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo has recently celebrated 30 years of career. This year, together with the director-screenwriter Massimo Venier, they celebrate 25 years of collaboration on the big screen, from their first film “Three men and a leg” (1997). Together they gave us many laughs, telling the story of the country and at the same time telling us about themselves: among the featured titles “Così è la vita” (1998), “Ask me if I’m happy” (2000), “Do you know Claudia?” (2004) and “I hate summer” (2020). From 22 December they return to the cinema with a brilliant new project that makes fun of our present, on the family ties between virtues and vices. It is “The Great Day”, written by Venier and the trio together with the screenwriters Davide Lantieri and Michele Pellegrini, a tasty comedy with hints of bitterness that photographs the desires and foibles of two families involved in organizing their children’s wedding. Starting from a precise event, the wedding of Giovanni’s daughter, the authors seized the opportunity to confront the narrative topos of marriage in cinematic comedy; among the references that can be seen here and there: “The father of the bride” (1950) by Vincente Minnelli and the remake (1992, 1995) by Charles Shyer, without forgetting “C’est la vie. Take it as it comes” (2017) by the French Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano as well as “Love Is All You Need” (2012) by the Danish Susanne Bier.
History. Lake Como, today. An entire small island with a large adjoining villa has been reserved for the wedding of Elio (Giovanni Anzaldo) and Caterina (Margherita Mannino), children of two business partners, owners of the thriving company Segrate Arredi, as well as old friends. Elio is the son of the couple formed by Giacomo and Lietta (Giacomo Poretti and Antonella Attili), while Caterina di Giovanni and Valentina (Giovanni Storti and Elena Lietti). The girl’s mother, Margherita (Lucia Mascino), Giovanni’s first wife and for years a “fugitive” in Norway for work, will also be present at the wedding; she will get married to her latest, mysterious, conquest of hers: Aldo (Aldo Baglio). Therefore, two families together with their guests will be asked to spend three days together facing a series of unexpected events…
“The Great Day” is a comedy that certainly has a rhythm, with a sparkling pace thanks to a succession of well-balanced narrative junctions and a cast which, led by Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, runs perfectly: very good in particular Lucia Mascino, Elena Lietti and Antonella Attili. The film follows the preparations and events leading up to the wedding step by step, from Friday to Sunday. A tragicomic snapshot of the delusions of grandeur of bourgeois families who do not want to spare expenses for their children’s weddings – from the choice of a super maître who calls himself “the Riccardo Muti of catering” (Pietro Ragusa) to the celebration entrusted to a well-known cardinal, Pineider (Roberto Citran) – but they inevitably fall prey to very expensive detours and setbacks. It is the case to say, when the form eats away the substance, and the value of the marriage ends up stranded in the shallows of a glossy and aseptic event. Even the Church is in the crosshairs of the comic hoax, declined through palace and suburban presbyters: yes they elicit laughter (the actors Roberto Citran and Francesco Brandi are good), but on closer inspection the figure is quite stereotyped and monochromatic.
Overall, the comedy “Il Grande Giorno” is an interesting and enjoyable proposal for holidays, an Italian title that “competes” easily with the rich Hollywood offer. A Christmas film but not about Christmas, but a story of families in search of renewed happiness and dialogue. Advisable, brilliant, for debates.

“His Dark Materials. These dark materials” (on Sky-Now, from 21.12)

We have waited two years for the grand finale of the “His Dark Materials” series. These dark matters”. After its debut in 2019 and the release of the second chapter in 2020, the BBC-HBO series is ready to return exclusively to Sky Atlantic and Now for the latest, gripping adventure of child prodigy Lyra Belacqua. The series is the adaptation of the fantasy matrix literary saga signed by the British writer Philip Pullman (the three titles, published between 1995 and 2000, are: “The Golden Compass”, “The Subtle Blade” and “The Spyglass of amber”).
It should be remembered that Pullman’s narrative universe had already been set up by Hollywood in 2007 with Chris Weitz’s “The Golden Compass”, involving leading actors such as Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Eva Green in the project; after the not entirely enthusiastic receipts, the “stars and stripes” dream industry has effectively blocked the subsequent chapters. Fortunately, after ten years the BBC and the giant HBO are back on the project finally giving life, in a complete way, to the world created by Pullman.
History. After various vicissitudes and chases, the teenager Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) and the almost contemporary Will Parry (Amir Wilson) find each other. Together they have two useful tools in the great battle that is looming: she is the precious Alethiometer, an instrument that reveals the truth about people and events, while he is the bearer of the Subtle Blade, which allows you to open spatial passages between the various parallel worlds. Tailed as much by the ruthless Magisterium as by the unscrupulous scientist Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson) – Lyra’s mother – as well as by the leader of the resistance, the researcher Lord Asriel Belacqua (James McAvoy) – Lyra’s father -, the two move from place to place place in search of answers. A wandering to the realm of the dead in search of his missing friend Roger (Lewin Lloyd).
To sign the adaptation of the trilogy is Jack Thorne, author of the theatrical script “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” with JK Rowling and of the film cycle “Enola Holmes” (2020-22) by Legendary-Netflix. Strengthened by a huge investment and an accurate, captivating formal packaging, “His Dark Materials” is an adventurous-fantasy story for children with an educational scope. The tones, however, are those of chiaroscuro, because the world, or rather the worlds inhabited by Lyra and Will, are marked more by shadows than by lights. In fact, we find complex and somewhat thorny issues in the field: among the various opponents, first of all there is the Magisterium, the representation of a repressive, strongly manipulative hierarchical-ecclesial structure. Again, Lyra’s parental figures are devoted to scientific research, to the point of appearing unscrupulous and completely unaffective. Finally, the angular theme of the experimentation conducted by both scholars against children and their “daemon” (visualization of the soul in the form of an animal, a guardian-protector who walks next to each person): a way to obtain the coveted “powder”, the magical energy.
Also in this third season the fantastic is the characterizing element of the story, which often clashes with a dry realism: a scenario where adults do not hesitate to trample on the innocence of the little ones in order to obtain power and glory. Although cloaked in a rather gloomy halo, the “His Dark Materials” series runs agile on the track of hope, of valiant actions put in place to make the right choice, good first of all, a good played in favor of Us and not of the I . Advisable, problematic, for debates.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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