from Film Forum, 03/31/05
A six-hour movie? Does a movie ever need to be that long?
Well, when you consider that director Marco Tullio Giordana's epic The Best of Youth follows its characters through four decades of growth, from the 1960s to the present, that amount of time seems almost insufficient. The film concerns two Italian brothers caught up in dramatic and historic events. The high-spirited Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio) is a traveler bound for a career as psychiatrist, and his brother Matteo (Alessio Boni) becomes a policeman in an attempt to address the things that grieve him about society. Their differing paths change their relationship over the years in surprising ways.
J. Robert Parks (Looking Closer) says, "You may not find a richer, more engrossing story than The Best of Youth all year long. The acting is universally strong, and the ensemble work is exquisite. One of the great advantages of the film's length is that it can let its characters develop slowly. The movie portrays life in the way that we live it, filled with little moments of joy and pain, tenderness and anger, rather than all-defining scenes of LOVE or HATRED or BETRAYAL, which is often how even good films have to handle their two-hour plots."
In the mainstream press, The Best of Youth is being hailed as one of the best films now playing.