• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:May 31, 2023

The Eight Mountains

Alessandro Borghi and Luca Marinelli. Photo: Janus Films

In 1984, young Pietro (Lupo Barbiero) finds a friend in another boy (Cristiano Sassella), while vacationing with his family in the mountains; years later, they meet again after having drifted apart. An adaptation of a novel that takes its time telling the story of a friendship that goes through different stages over the years; as adults, Pietro and Bruno bond while building a house out of a collapsed shelter up in the mountains. A thoughtful account of the effect that parents have on their children throughout their lives, and the individual struggle to find oneself. Longish, but engrossing, with a good cast; beautifully filmed in Italy and the Himalayas.

2022-Italy-Belgium-France. 147 min. Color. Produced by Hans Everaert, Lorenzo Gangarossa, Mario Gianini, Louis Tisné. Written and directed by Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch. Novel: Paolo Cognetti. Cinematography: Ruben Impens. Music: Daniel Norgren. Cast: Luca Marinelli (Pietro), Alessandro Borghi (Bruno), Filippo Timi (Giovanni), Lupo Barbiero, Cristiano Sassella, Elena Lietti.

Trivia: Original title: Le otto montagne.

Cannes: Jury Prize. 

Last word: “This novel is a big treasure for [the Italian production company] because it was a bestseller and they were really looking for the right director. So they chose Felix and it was love at first sight when he read it. Then I read it, too, of course. We were actually road-tripping through Italy with our son at the moment because we love Italy. We were going to drive south, but we got an invitation from Paolo Cognetti to come to the Alps, because he spends his summers and half of the year there, and  since he heard that Felix had accepted to do the adaptation, he was like, ‘I am here if you want to,’ and we were driving, and Felix said, ‘What do you think?’ So we just turned around and drove north again, and at that moment I was like, ‘Oh, I have to really read this novel now because I can’t really get there without having read it,’ so we read it […] The last few chapters are really beautiful. We cried together, and I said, ‘This is such a good story for you. I’m so happy.'” (Vandermeersch, Layered Butter)

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