Italiensk for begyndere (2000)

To speak the language of love, first you have to feel it.

Original Title : Italiensk for begyndere
Director : Lone Scherfig
Writer : Lone Scherfig
Genre : Comedy
Country : Denmark
Language : Danish
Producer : Karen Bentzon , Peter Aalbæk Jensen , Ib Tardini
Photography : Jørgen Johansson
MPAA Rating : Rated R for language and some sexuality.
IMDB ID : 0243862
Official site :
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poster for "Italiensk for begyndere" by Lone Scherfig (2000)
Italiensk for begyndere (2000) - Lone Scherfig


Anders W. Berthelsen Andreas
Anette Støvelbæk Olympia
Peter Gantzler Jørgen Mortensen
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen Karen
Lars Kaalund Hal-Finn
Karen-Lise Mynster Real Estate Dealer
Rikke Wölck Nurse
Elsebeth Steentoft Kirketjener


A young minister, a widower, is temporarily assigned to a church whose suspended pastor drove parishioners away, he stays at a hotel where he meets Jørgen, who's alone approaching middle age. Jørgen's friend Finn, a temperamental restaurant manager, may be about to be fired. Finn's assistant is Giulia, a lovely young Italian who prays for a husband. Olympia, a clumsy bakery clerk, has an ornery father, Karen, a hairdresser, has a mother who is very ill. The paths of these six characters cross at church, in the restaurant, at the hotel, and at an Italian class at the local adult school. Loneliness, grief, solace, romance, and love may meet 'nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita.'


Another dogme hit. At the time of writing, "Italian for beginners" is a big hit on the Berlin Film Festival. The reason may be that it´s another film made under the Dogme 95 certificate, but it can easily stand on its own, without comparison to "The Celebration", "The Idiots" and "Mifune". Basically it´s a comedy-drama (although one of the Dogme rules prohibits genre definition) telling several interwoven stories connected by the Italian-for-beginners-class. There are a whole variety of characters: the young pastor, the hothead short order cook from the sports restaurant, the clumsy girl from the bakery etc. All very recognizable everyday types, but beautifully realized by its talented cast, with special kudos to Peter Gantzler, cast against type and hilariously underplaying as the nerdish impotent hotel clerk. Lars Kaalund is also very funny, sporting a very authentic sounding Italian. Director Lone Scherfig has made a very endearing, romantic film that is very universal in its tone, which is probably why it has performed so well at the Berlin film festival. For a feel-good movie experience, you should definitely go see "Italian for beginners".
poster for "Italiensk for begyndere"
530 x 350
Italiensk for begyndere (2000) - Lone Scherfig
poster for "Italiensk for begyndere"
323 x 475
Italiensk for begyndere (2000) - Lone Scherfig