November 23, 2009
Everybody’s Fine Reprises Classic Italian Film
Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1990 classic Stanno Tutti Bene tells the story of a widower who, lonely during the holidays, embarks upon a tour of Italy to visit his children (all named, appropriately enough in this bittersweet melodrama, for characters from Italian operas). Everybody’s Fine Director Kirk Jones transplants the film to contemporary America – where the members of extended families, separated by long distances, have increasingly have become strangers to one another. Jones adapted the original screenplay, cowritten by Tornatore and Tonino Guerra (a collaborator of Fellini, Antonioni, Tarkovsky, and Theo Angelopolous) to explore the ways in which an impromptu train trip serves as an education for a father (Robert De Niro, in the role originally played by Marcello Mastroianni) who comes to learn more about his grown children than he ever imagined – or, perhaps, wanted to know.
In this podcast episode, Jones joins noted film critic Robert Denerstein to discuss the making of Everybody’s Fine, fatherhood, and working with De Niro.