" The shame of the woman opening a chocolaterie just in time for Lent "
— Alfred Molina, Chocolat

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This six hour epic-drama follows an Italian family over a span of 40 years, predominately focusing on two brothers growing up through the sixties and seventies, and concluding in the year 2003.

Two brothers growing up through the sixties and seventies
Two brothers growing up through the sixties and seventies

Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana (One Hundred Steps), this film gives us a personal look at Italian history and culture, while celebrating the fascinating life of Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio) and his very different brother, Matteo (Alessio Boni). As the title sequence appears at the beginning, it is appropriately accompanied by The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” setting the time and mood for us perfectly. From there, we get fantastic cinematography, a well chosen soundtrack, and great character drama backed by unbelievable performances.

The film is six hours long (presented in two three-hour parts), and although you will never tire of the story or characters, I can tell you that your ass will definitely feel all 366 minutes of it. If you have the stomach for such a feat, then get that tub of popcorn and a liter of cola, because you’ll be in for one hell of a good ride. Otherwise, I suggest wait for the video.