Worst Days (2023) M. Bruno, E. Leo

Edoardo Leo and Massimiliano Bruno direct, co-write and star in Worst Days. Comedy in episodes, four in total, to show the vices, virtues and hypocrisy of the Italians. An important cast, from Anna Folietta to Fabrizio Bentivoglio, from Claudia Pandolfi to Rocco Papaleo, but not only.

Italy explained in four special days

It started with better days, otherwise it could not have ended. Worst daysdirector Edward Leo AND Maximilian Bruno, in Italian cinemas on August 14, 2023 for Vision Distribution, is the perfect continuation, completion, improvement. The logical development of speech beginning with Better days, which by the way came out not so long ago, at the beginning of the year, in a very comfortable period for admissions. Therefore, the audacity of an operation that fits into the history of the summer of 2023 must be recognized, which really does its best to subvert some of the bad habits of the Italian market, which therefore also determine the choice of the public. Comedy in four episodes with a valuable cast; in spirit and structure, the intention is to restore in humor those shades of bitterness and secular satire that characterized our comedy in its best days (!). Edward Leo AND Maximilian Bruno they want us to laugh at our misfortunes. Talking about Italy for them means talking about families upside down.

From Christmas to Halloween, to record a (not) perfect year

Worst Days, Claudia Pandolfi, Ricky Memphis, Neri Marcore and Anna Folietta in scene
Worst Days, Claudia Pandolfi, Ricky Memphis, Neri Marcore and Anna Folietta in a still from the movie

OUR Pworst Gdays referred to in the title are four, namely Christmas Day, May Day, August 15, and Halloween. A perfect narrative thread chronicling a sui generis year beginning in Christmas. father, Renato Carpentersreunites three children Maximilian Bruno, Edward Leo AND Anna Folletta, because he needs a kidney and one of the (very recalcitrant) children will have to provide the sacrifice. WHO? may Day step two: the employee is dismissed without good reason, Joseph Battistondoes not come to terms with losing the liquidation and for this reason kidnaps his former owner at the factory, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, entrepreneur on the streets and on the verge of suicide. Direction in both cases Edward Leowho is also involved in writing the script.

The remaining two episodes were filmed and co-written by Maximilian Bruno. He arrived mid Augustif warmth permits, and history Ricky Memphis AND Claudia Pandolfifree and rich couple visited by their umbrella neighbors, sophisticated Anna Ferzetti AND Neri Marcorewho report sexual harassment of their daughter by the children of the former. halloween it comes full circle with a veil of melancholy and an incredible twist of fate. Rocco Papaleo a magician, heartbroken after his wife’s death, who, in a sensational coincidence, organizes with his daughter Sarah Baccarini show in luxury residence John Storty, former friend and former love rival. Blood, fellowship, sea, broken families. The family is the anchor of the film, its bitter irony.

Some episodes are more equal than others

Worst Days, Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Giuseppe Battiston in scene
Worst Days, Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Giuseppe Battiston in a still from the movie

Edward Leo AND Maximilian Bruno attack the official side of history. They do not mindlessly choose these worst days: nothing like a party, some preconceived idea of ​​the family, reveals the distance that separates the hypocrisy of behavior from the much more pathetic reality of its motives. Really OUR Pworst Gdays it revives a way of making comedy that our cinema has essentially abandoned, at least on a structural level, by focusing on the return of episodic comedy. It delivers its strengths and weaknesses in a timely manner: the attention held by the constant scene changes – the film’s total running time is almost two hours, a big comedy challenge – and fluctuating approval ratings. All episodes are the same, but some are more equal than others.

This is especially true of the second, which is played by a pair of Battiston-Bentivoglio. An interesting departure, a good balance of melancholy humor and social fury, a snapshot of a collapsed country in which the boss and worker realize that behind the barricades a common fate awaits them, failure. Unconditional surrender to capitalism and greed is like a rebellion that paves the way for another tomorrow. One premise would be enough, a kidnapper who chooses as a victim someone who has nothing more to ask for in life, to evoke a pleasant mixture of irony and drama. There were enough ideas for a commissioned film, because it was possible to work on the factory space, on the past of the characters, on the outside world, the media, the forces of order. Everything stays halfway in this amazingly unspoken comedy of extraordinary audacity.

Bitter irony, the premises are not fully used

Worst days, Rocco Papaleo in the scene
The Worst Days, Rocco Papaleo in a still from the movie

And this is the courage of melancholy, the sharpness of tones and the ambiguity of atmospheres. Laid on humor, and certainly not to get rid of it or to celebrate the funeral of comedy. Instead of having fun complicating things. OUR Pworst Gdays look at the vices and hypocrisy of individual characters, but think about the country, even if the study of individual psychology is a priority and social analysis is secondary. Holding together the two sides of history, work and family, regrets and sexual harassment, hypocrisy and sighs of dignity, Italy is seen as a conglomerate of little big families, torn apart by the more or less surmountable, more or less relevant, more or less (tragic)comic.

There’s also part of the frustration, because those are the premise, and that’s the case with all four episodes, they’re not being used to their full potential. Four times one gets the impression that the story ends right at the most beautiful moment, and, of course, the will of the authors is to blame here not to look for easy reconciliations that force the public to swallow the moral of the ironically bitter story: everything will not work. Well, anyway, let’s have a laugh about it. This is not enough. Four stories in their infancy that deserve more structured attention and attention to detail.


poster for the movie The Worst Days



Original name: Worst days
Director: Edoardo Leo, Massimiliano Bruno
Country/year: Italy / 2023
Duration: 117′
Type: Comedy
Throw: Antonella Attili, Edoardo Leo, Anna Folietta, Massimo Wertmuller, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Renato Carpentieri, Rocco Papaleo, Anna Ferzetti, Giuseppe Battiston, Massimiliano Bruno, Giovanni Storti, Neri Marcore, Claudia Pandolfi, Liliana Fiorelli, Ricky Memphis, Marco Bonini, Federico Galante , Francesco Leo, Germana Cifani, Greta Favino, Nicola Cuneo, Sarah Baccarini, Tezeta Abraham, Urbano Lione
Screenplay: Andrea Bassi, Edoardo Leo, Gianni Corsi, Marco Bonini, Salvatore Fazio, Massimiliano Bruno, Beatrice Campagna, Herbert Simone Paragnani
Photo: Mark Bassano
Assembly: Luciana Pandolfelli
Music: Gianluca Misiti, Maurizio Filardo
Director: Federica Lucisano, Fulvio Lucisano
Distribution: Sky, Italian International Film, Vision Distribution, Netflix

Release date: 08/14/2023


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Born in Rome somewhere in the 80s of the last century. Degree in Political Science. I love cinema, music, literature. Marathon beginner.

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