The Rest of the Night (Il Resto della notte) Film Review - An Official Selection of the 2008 AFI Fest

Upon the disappearance of her heirloom pearl earrings, Silvania Boarin (Sandra Ceccarelli) demands that her husband Giovanni (Aurélien Recoing) confront and swiftly discharge Marja (Laura Vasiliu) the maid, much to the aggravation of their teenaged daughter, Anna (Veronica Besa). Being fired not only means Marja has lost a great job; she has also lost her home and must return to the seamy, rundown impoverished neighborhood of her youth. Finding only a temporary place to stay, she realizes that, in order to survive, she must return to the boyfriend she once left for “played in the wrong side of the law”.

Marja was right to leave Jonuz (Constantin Lupescu). He is a thief and a roughian and good at both. He is not a bad man; he is simply using the skills he has to do the best he can for himself and his younger brother Victor (Victor Cosma), now that their mother has died. It is with the dream that they will one day move into a real home, beyond this one bedroom apartment, that Jonuz thieves and puts up with an often coked up henchman Marco.

Stefano Cassetti in "The Rest Of the Night (Il Resto della Notte)"

Marco (Stefano Cassetti) has his own problems, aside from his cocaine addiction. He has to stay clean and follow the program or he will be locked up again. He wants to spend more time with his son, but his wife has arranged with the court to limit visits to one hour. He could probably get more time if he had a better place to life, which means money, which means he waits anxiously for Jonuz to throw him a bone the next time a heist or job is lined up.

And their worlds all slowly begin to intersect the day that Marja decides to go back to Jonuz.

Writer/Director Francesco Munzi offers a sober look at Italian class relations in the dark ensemble drama, The Rest Of the Night (Il Resto della notte). He pens a world where the poor clash with the wealthy, the immigrate clash with the indigenous and a divorcing couple compete for the affections of their young son. The feeling of coincidence is refreshing in this film. In a climate where the multi-storyline piece is a popular form, many of these stories tend to fashion characters whose lives tend to fit or overlap a bit to easily for my taste. I was not able to easily make the connections, and as a result, I didn’t know where the story would lead. Munzi does well with a script that does not finish the ends and keeps you guessing.

The Rest of the Night (Il Resto della Notte) provides two hours of fine acting and skilled filmmaking. The film is presented in Italian and Rumanien with English subtitles.

The Rest of the Night (Il Resto della Notte) is an Official Selection in the Narrative Competition of the 2008 AFI Fest happening October 30 through November 9, 2008.

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