Mario Monicelli

Sog.: Tullio Pinelli. Scen.: Mario Monicelli, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Tullio Pinelli, Leo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi. F.: Camillo Bazzoni. M.: Ruggero Mastroianni. Scgf.: Enrico Fiorentini. Mus.: Nicola Piovani. Int.: Liv Ullmann (Elena), Catherine Deneuve (Claude), Philippe Noiret (Leonardo), Giuliana De Sio (Franca), Stefania Sandrelli (Lolli), Bernard Blier (lo zio), Giuliano Gemma (Nardoni), Athina Cenci (Fosca), Paolo Hendel (Giovannini), Lucrezia Lante Della Rovere (Malvina). Prod.: Giovanni Di Clemente per Clemi Cinematografica, Producteurs Associés. DCP. D.: 120’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

From the perspective of its creation, it marks the revenge of old age. Five of them got together to write Speriamo che sia femmina on the back of a story outline by the Turinese Tullio Pinelli. At the risk of being indiscreet – because one of them is a woman (Suso Cecchi d’Amico, who has 40 years of film experience) – it seems fair to note that their average age is closer to 70 than 60. It is as if tired and irritated by always hearing that Italian cinema is going through a crisis of ideas and that the older generation is worn out, used up, finished and that they should make space for younger voices – they said: we will show you, the old values are not yet dead.
The result is titled Speriamo che sia femmina. It is not only a very enjoyable and substantial comedy, which masterfully swings between lightness and seriousness, diversion and reflection, but also the best feminist film of recent years. And I will go further still, and not only out of a desire for paradox: despite its frame, setting and a certain bitter, sarcastic humour typical of Tuscany, it does not even seem like an Italian film. There is something not so much French as Nordic in this film on the decline of an aristocratic family, which presides over a Tuscan estate dominated by a farmhouse and an agricultural firm in the province of Grosseto.
The whole film deserves to be analysed scene by scene for the richness of its narrative development, its combination of a range of dramatic, humorous and grotesque themes, its splendid gallery of female characters and their lively, comic foils (the absent-minded uncle, the glottologist in search of folk melodies), and the way in which it organically constructs a discourse around absence, weakness and the egotism of men, without recourse to a rigid ideological framework… Speriamo che sia femmina is a great bourgeois film, a work that enriches the impoverished panorama of Italian cinema in the 1980s.

Morando Morandini, “Il Giorno”, 9 February 1987

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courtesy of Minerva Pictures