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CATERINA IN THE BIG CITY
aka CATERINA VA IN CITTa
USA: Empire Pictures
Cast: Alice Teghil, Sergio Castellito, Carolina Iaquaniello, Federica Sbrenna, Margherita Buy, Antonio Carnevale, Silvio Vannucci, Zach Wallen, Martino Reviglio, Claudio Amendola, Flavio Bucci, Paola Tiziana Cruciani, Luigi Grilli, Tereza Paula Da Rosa, Renata Orso, Margerita Mazzola, Martina Tasquetta, Giulia Gorietti, Emanuele Ajello, Ottavia Virzý, Giacomo Rivera, Riccardo Morra
Director: Paolo Virzý
Language: Italian (English subtitles)
USA: 106 mins
USA Release Date: 10 June 2005 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 3 June 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
USA Release Date: 26 April 2005 (Limited Release - Newport Beach, CA)
USA Release Date: 8 April 2005 (Limited Release - Minneapolis, MN)
A coming of age story about a 15 year-old provincial girl who moves to Rome and finds her new tony private school is a microcosm of the cultural and political divisions of Italian society When her parents, Giancarlo (Sergio Castellitto) and Agata (Margherita Buy), move from a seaside town in Tuscany to an ailing aunt's apartment in the big city, Caterina (Alice Teghil) is ready for something new.
Dad, a teacher in a tech school, has undisguised social ambitions and is delighted to see a list of famous last names attending his old alma mater, where Caterina will also be going. Her class is split between revolutionary no-globals and rich kids who parrot their parents' conservative ideas. Both sides try to bring the new girl into their sphere of influence. She's first drawn to Margherita (Carolina Iaquaniello), a mercurial hippie princess whose mom (Galatea Ranzi) is a politically active intellectual. This first phase of Caterina's social education ends when Margherita gets her drunk and tattoos her arm. Giancarlo arrives, intending to get Margherita's mother to find a publisher for his novel, which he has given her daughter to read. Abruptly switching from fawning to outraged, he insults everyone before dragging the vomiting Caterina home.
Caterina soon falls in with the flighty Daniela (Federica Sbrenna) and her circle of rich, cell phone totting mall-rats. After making her over into an urban sophisticate, they introduce her to a quiet young aristocrat with a disapproving mother and to Daniela's father, a right-wing undersecretary (Claudio Amendola) in Berlosconni's government.
As her parent's marriage disintegrates in the face of her father's social frustrations, Caterina finds comfort in her extended family and hope for the future in a budding romance (and perhaps the prospect of emigration someday) with a boy from Australia.
The film lays bare Italy's great political divide and absence of middle ground.