Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Mid-August Lunch 2008

Pranzo di ferragosto

Directed by Gianni Di Gregorio

In this delicate Italian comedy a happily retired bachelor spends the August bank holiday with his aged mother and three other assorted old biddies on his hands. “Charming and gently hilarious.” — Hollywood Reporter

Italy In Italian with English subtitles
75 minutes 35mm


Matteo Garrone


Gianni Di Gregorio
Simone Riccardini


Gian Enrico Bianchi


Marco Spoletini

Production designer

Susanna Cascella

Costume designer

Silvia Polidori


Filippo Porcari


Ratchev & Carratello


Gianni Di Gregorio (Gianni)
Valeria De Franciscis (Gianni's mother)
Marina Cacciotti (Luigi's mother)
Maria Cali (Aunt Maria)
Grazia Cesarini Sforza (Grazia)
Alfonso Santagata (Alfonso)
Luigi Marchetti (the Viking)
Marcello Ottolenghi (doctor friend)
Petre Rosu (the tramp)


Venice, London 2008; New Directors/New Films, San Francisco 2009


In this unusually delicate Italian comedy Gianni, a happily retired bachelor in his late 50s, finds himself spending the August bank holiday stuck at home with his aged mother and three other assorted old biddies on his hands. Keeping them all happy, on their meds, on their diets, out of the bars, and warmly disposed to each other, the poor guy hasn’t worked so hard in his life. Veteran screenwriter and first-time director Gianni Di Gregorio plays Gianni, and the rest of the cast are non-professionals (the average age of the four actresses is 88). They are naturals. Simply and without undue comic emphasis, he has much to say that is funny and true about harried Italian males and their loving, if conflicted, relationships with their mothers; the minor, conniving underpinning social interaction; and, ultimately, the joys of an elaborate lunch on a long, hot summer day in Rome. — SR

“Small but utterly charming.” — Lee Marshall, Screendaily