Human Capital (2013)

Human Capital (2013)
7.3
  • 11017
  • Not Rated
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 2013 ()
  • Running time: 111 min
  • Original Title: Il capitale umano
  • Voted: 11017

Dino Ossola, a small-time real estate agent who dreams of bigger things ; Serena Ossola, his teenage daughter who dates a spoilt rich brat ; Carla Bruneschi, an actress who has given up her career to marry a wealthy businessman ; Massimiliano Giovanni Bernaschi, her husband, a powerful player ; Massimiliano Bernaschi, the troubled son of the Bernaschis' ; Roberta Ossola, a psychologist, Dino's second wife ; Donato Russomano, a brilliant drama teacher who is stuck on Carla ; Luca Ambrosini, a teenager frowned upon by others ; an anonymous cyclist... They are all shareholders of the human capital. Errr... all? Really?

#PersonCharacters
1Fabrizio BentivoglioDino Ossola
2Matilde GioliSerena Ossola
3Valeria Bruni TedeschiCarla Bernaschi
4Guglielmo PinelliMassimiliano Bernaschi
  • Well shot and well interpreted by 7

    I went to see this movie mainly because it was shot in surroundings I know very well (the surroundings of Varese, in the north of Italy)and was more curious than interested. In the end, I had to say I saw a good movie, with a good photography but also a convincing story, based on an American novel, but fit for a movie which lies between a thriller and a social portrait, showing some evils of contemporary Italy. The splitting of the story into four chapters, seen from the point of view of three characters, plus a final chapter, may not be that original but works effectively and keeps the viewer's attention alive for almost two hours. So, considering the mediocrity of Italian contemporary cinematography, it is a good product and I also appreciated the performances of the whole cast, with Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Fabrizio Gifuni at their best. In my country the movie was criticized for pointing the finger at the north of Italy as the source of contemporary decadence: on the whole, besides its ideological orientation, I found it more entertaining than socially committed or politically sided.

  • Finding the truth behind a mistake. by 8

    Lately I have been watching lots of movies from the book adaptation and here it comes another one. This time an English language novel transformed into an Italian movie. But what I heard is that a few changes were made to bring the Italian flavor. Well, what could I say more, if you know the director you will say he's the right person to make it happen and he did excellently. Recruited the best cast and extracted best out of them.

    The story of the two families narrated in the different streams when a cyclist got hit by a car on the Christmas eve. So the question has been asked, how did it happen? And who did it? The characters from two families begin to expose their role on that accident night revealing who did what. Dino, a realtor sees an opportunity to get into a big earning league so he decides to invest a large amount on it. Followed by the recession he has to face the reality of business that puts his life on a stake. Carla, the wife of a multimillionaire gives a financial support for the struggling company. Later she has to let it go when her husband's business begins to fall apart. Serena, the daughter of Dino and Massimiliano, son of Carla are the close friends. Their story follows where one of them finds their true love and another one get into sadness for some reason. When all these three episodes concludes the final chapter begins to unveil the truth with a twist.

    ''I know it does not look much like you, I tend to make things uglier.''

    The story was told in layers which were divided into the four chapters. The story that happened between the particular timeline was repeated again and again with another character's perspective and with different camera angles till truth reveals in the final chapter. As it's still developing the opening was confusing which was the first chapter. Without holding-up in development, it straight goes with the main intention of the theme. If you pass that then the following segments interest you to make you guess the possibilities the suspense it hold. Kind of impossible to predict because of the introduction of the related characters to the particular incident consumed by the three quarters of the film. Which mean twist comes at the latter part which was really a good one. Each character that comes in the different episodes were incredible. Like, for a moment it was unhooked from the rest and centralizes that specific story stream, but the common event holds the story all together. I liked all the main characters, but the character Serena steals the final show. The role who played it was a new face and I kind see a great career ahead of her. (God, she's kind of attractive, hope its not me the only one to say that.) This was one of the recent best neo-noir. If somebody asks, I definitely recommend it.

  • Stark Depiction of the Evils of Capitalism by 7

    I have always been struck by the sentence in F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY (1925) used to describe Tom and Daisy Buchanan as "destructive" in the sense that they have a lot of money, but that renders then totally indifferent to human suffering, especially that of the eponymous hero.

    Through the ingenious of three interlinked stories, each depicting the same incident, Paolo Virzi's film achieved a similar effect. A man is knocked off his bicycle on Christmas Eve by someone driving an SUV; the action leading up to and including that incident over the previous six months is narrated from Dino Ossola's (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) perspective, from that of his daughter Serena (Matilde Gioli) and that of their rich acquaintance's wife Carla (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi). The story is relatively straightforward, involving Carla's husband Giovanni (Fabrizio Gifuni), her son Massimiliano (Guglielmo Pinelli), and a young man wrongfully accused of drug possession who has received psychiatric counseling (Gigio Alberti).

    What we learn from the narrative is how Giovanni lives an affluent existence that renders him totally insensible to the sufferings of others. He believes that money can buy anything, even justice. We see him mostly in interior sequences, in a rich-looking house surrounded by guests. Carla believes there is more to life than simply money, but apparently cannot countermand her husband's will. Money produces servility. Massimiliano has the same indifference to others as his father; so long as he has the chance to sleep in his own bed and enjoy driving his new "beast" - the SUV involved in the accident - then his existence is fulfilled.

    Morally speaking. Dino's existence is not much better, as he invests ?700,000 in one of Giovanni's schemes and loses virtually nine- tenths of his capital. In revenge he tries to blackmail Carla for ?900,000 plus a kiss; the fact that this scene takes place in a theater underlines the theme of the film, that these people are merely performing in life, rather than trying to understand its vicissitudes.

    In plot-terms, HUMAN CAPITAL can be approached as a murder-mystery, as we are led down various blind alleys until we discover who actually killed the cyclist. In thematic terms, however, the film is far more preoccupied with showing the depths to which people can sink in their attempts to avoid confronting the truth about their existences and live instead in their financial bubbles, both mental as well as tangible.

  • The cost of living by 7

    In the closing moments of this intricate drama, "Human capital" is defined as an insurance industry term, referring to the way damages payouts are calculated upon death, partly dependent on the individual's "emotional bonds". But the phrase more broadly refers to the way that the productivity and creativity of people can be converted into economic value. These definitions tell us everything we need to know about the themes at hand in Paolo Virzì's deconstruction of the Italian upper middle.

    Human Capital is Italy's entry for next year's Academy Awards, and it's not hard to see why. It's a handsome, solid, complex, character-driven drama with an already award-winning performance from Valeria Bruni Tedeschi at its centre. She plays Carla Bernaschi, the wife of a businessman on the cusp of ruin. She persuades him to buy her a crumbling theatre – a pet project – as a gift. But it quickly becomes apparent that the theatre isn't economically viable. It'll have to be converted into flats instead.

    The film is full of such soul-crushing moments. One needn't look far for metaphors. The various subplots revolve around a car crash (The Crash), and the fallout which threatens to ruin those at the bottom of the social ladder, leaving those at the top untainted. One needn't, also, look far for comparisons: Paul Haggis's award-friendly Crash, and the work of Alejandro I?árritu, in the way that chronologically concurrent stories are shown one after another.

    But Virzì's film is less aggravatingly worthy than the work of Haggis and less laborious than I?árritu's English-language work. Indeed, the first of four "chapters" plays out with wicked dry humour, as Dino Ossola (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) desperately claws at the deal of a lifetime in order to break into the business elite. He's trying to seduce that wretched husband of Carla's, Giovanni (Fabrizio Gigfuni), but he only recognises the capital, not the humanity. It leaves Carla bereft; searching for meaning and affection. Meanwhile, both the Ossolas and the Bernaschis are bound by their kids. Serena Ossola (Matilde Gioli, resembling a younger Eva Green) knows something about the car crash, and the cost of keeping or revealing the secret is where the real meaning of the film's title will become known.

    Virzì's style starts out dead pretty; all fairy tale lighting and wintry wonderlands, mirroring the illusory worlds the wealthy (or would-be-wealthy) inhabit. But as the cost of these characters' decisions become known, the camera leaves the tripod and the style gets grittier. Virzì is clearly aware of the inherent humour and horror in seeing the same events from multiple perspectives. While comedy gives way to tragedy, the twists and turns don't feel manipulative, and ultimately this is a story imbued with hope. In part this is due to the villain of the piece – the apparently heartless Giovanni – never being reduced to a mere monster.

    The structure does mean that at times the chronology of events becomes muddled. It's not always completely clear how much time is supposed to have passed between scenes, leading to some false impressions of certain relationships. And, inevitably for such a tightly woven story, narrative contrivance and convenience is never far away. But then, what does one expect from a morality play? And a thoroughly modern one at that. This is an intelligent, accessible film, wise to focus on the most interesting characters in the room: those on the margins; those with most to lose. A fine contender.

  • Subtle & convincing. Touching the heart by 10

    The other reviews already mention a lot. What I absolutely liked was the subtleties, the reality. The characters were very well worked out (and acted!) and it was very convincing. I know- too well - the world on the hill. In general, things are always oversimplified or exaggerated. Not here.

    Everything else (plot, script, photography etc) was also perfect - but this might well be the first time that I see wealthy characters so truthful.So layered. I cherished it.

    You come to love most of the characters, with an exception of the father of Serena which I first fell sorry for, but during the movie the opinion gradually changed. Un baccio! Che cazzo. Even the mother of Massimiliano - so well acted! - you feel pity for her. And she looks so empty, so sad.

#PersonCrew
1Paolo Virzìdirector
2Marco Cohenproducer
3Fabrizio Donvitoproducer
4Stephen Amidonwriter
5Francesco Bruniwriter
6Francesco Piccolowriter