Movie review by Andrea Karen Hammer
Anyone who has assumed the responsibility of a caregiver will experience a sense of relief while watching Mid-August Lunch. As an infrequently addressed subject that is challenging to convey fully to others, this film focuses on caring for an elderly parent, along with three additional “drop-offs.”
Filmed in Rome, the setting is enchanting. As Gianni (writer, director and star Gianni Di Gregorio) travels around the city to gather food for the group’s meals, viewers enjoy glimpses of everyday life. From regular stops in a wine shop to exchanges with fishermen, the street scenes immerse viewers in Italian life.
Film Based on Son’s 10-Year Experience of Caring for His Mother
Inside the small apartment, now accommodating four elderly women to pay off the debts that Gianni and his mother (the spirited Valeria De Franciscis) have struggled to pay, the duo try to maintain a pleasant atmosphere. Perfectly pitched performances from all of the actors are so convincing that they seem to be playing themselves.
In the “Extra Dish,” or bonus material, confirmation that this Italian film was based on Gianni Di Gregorio‘s own 10-year caregiving experience adds a level of authenticity. A son’s firsthand perspective on caregiving is particularly interesting and welcome in Mid-August Lunch.
Upbeat and Highly Entertaining Movie With Joyful Final Scenes
Although some challenges and scares like tracking down one of the women who has wandered off are explored, the film largely remains upbeat and highly entertaining. Despite frustrations with meal limitations and TV-watching conflicts about preferred shows, the women enjoy new companionship and conversation, which they want to prolong.
The joyful final scenes, as the final credits roll, underscore the clear reasons for this film’s success. Mid-August Lunch also provides an important reminder that more movies on this subject are urgently needed for a growing baby-boomer population caring for elderly parents.
Questions for Artsphoria’s Online Film Forum
Which parts of this Italian film did you relate to, and why? If you are a caregiver, do you think this movie accurately represents the caregiving experience? What scenarios did the film not address, and do you think that any movie could convey those completely?
Share your thoughts about Mid-August Lunch, and invite others to join Artsphoria’s Online Film Forum now!