One of the most exciting “field trips” I took when I lived in Italy was to a nearby town to watch the riveting final installment of the “Twilight” series: Twilight, Breaking Dawn Part II. Even though I wasn’t Twilight’s number one fan (okay, I admit, I might have read all of the books in high school…), it was exciting to be able to experience a small slice of America even though I was 6,000 miles away from home.
Nearly my whole USAC group signed up for the trip, and after missing a train and a bus from Viterbo to Bomarzo, we were forced to cram into a bunch of volunteers’ cars and drive along the questionably narrow, curvy countryside roads to the theatre.
The theatre itself was a testament to how different things can be in Italy.
When Americans think of movie theatres, we think of big buckets of buttery, salty popcorn, gallon-sized sodas and huge auditoriums with stadium seating.
This theatre was far from my concept of what a movie theatre was supposed to be. It consisted of two rooms: one that I guess you could call a concession stand where they served popcorn that they microwaved right there on the spot (it was my first time seeing a microwave in Italy), and another that served as the auditorium.
Aside from the interesting theatre experience, the movie was as lame as expected, but fun nonetheless.
I didn’t even think about having to discuss a movie’s plot, characters or setting in Italian until the next semester when I had an oral exam in which I had to describe another movie I’d watched in an Italian theatre.
I wish we could have watched Twilight for that exam, because the movie we actually watched was really hard to comprehend let alone recount at the level I was at the time.
But I realize now that being able to talk about movies is a great way to connect with Italians, and after learning how to express your opinion about movies, you can move on to expressing your opinions about all sorts of other topics.
With that being said, here are some key phrases and vocabulary words you can use to discuss a movie you watched in Italian (whether the movie was in Italian or not!).
I will be using Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II for all of my examples.
The most important thing to remember is that the Italian verb raccontare, to tell or recount, will be your best friend when discussing a movie.
If nothing else you can just talk about the story of the movie.
You’d do so by using the following format:
— Il film racconta la storia di… – The film tells the story of…
It’s also important to remember that when you are expressing an opinion, you MUST use the congiuntivo. If you need to review this often confusing tense, you can click here.
Just remember that after you say anything like…
— Mi sembra – It appears to me
— Credo che – I believe that
— Penso che – I think that
— Mi pare – It appears to me
…you need to use the congiuntivo.
Besides that, here are some words you will need to recount the plot, characters or setting of a movie.
Beneath the nouns and verbs, you will see an example of how they can be used.
At the end, you’ll find a short dialogue I wrote in which I discuss Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
You can follow a format similar to this paragraph to practice discussing a movie you like (or hate).
I nomi – The nouns
— Il film – movie/film
Questo è il mio film preferito. – This is my favorite film.
— Il protagonista/la protagonista – The leading actor/actress
Robert Pattinson e Kristen Stewart sono i protagonisti di Twilight: Breaking Dawn. – Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are the leading actors of Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
— Il personaggio – The character
Anche Taylor Lautner è un personaggio di Twilight: Breaking Dawn, forse lui è anche uno dei protagonisti. – Taylor Lautner is also a character of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, maybe he is one of the main characters.
— La trama – The plot
Vi racconterò la trama di Twilight: Breaking Dawn. – I will tell you the plot of Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
— L’ambientazione – The setting
L’ambientazione di Twilight: Breaking Dawn è Washington, negli Stati Uniti. – Washington in the United States is the setting of Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
— Il cinema – the theater/theatre/cinema
Andiamo al cinema a guardare un film! – Let’s go to the cinema to watch a film!
— I sottotitoli – The subtitles
Ci sono i sottotitoli in italiano per questo film. – There are Italian subtitles for this film.
— La scena – The scene
La mia scena preferita di Twilight: Breaking Dawn è stata quando Edward brillava con Bella. – My favorite scene of Twilight: Breaking Dawn was when Edward was sparkling with Bella.
I verbi – The verbs
— Raccontare – To recount, to tell
Il film racconta la storia di due amanti del destino. – The film tells the story of two lovers of fate (star-crossed lovers.)
— Piacere – to like
Mi è piaciuto questo film. – I liked that film.
— Vedere – to see
Non l’ho mai visto. – I’ve never seen it before.
— Guardare – To watch
Mi piace molto guardare i film. – I really like watching movies.
— Intitolare – To title (entitle)
Questo film si intitola Twilight: Breaking Dawn. – This film is called Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
I generi – Genres
— Azione – Action
— Orrore – Horror
— Romantico – Romantic
— Commedia – Comedy
— Guerra – War
— Fantascienza – Science fiction
— Documentario – Documentary
Gli aggettivi – The adjectives
— Terribile – Terrible
— Divertente – Fun
— Pauroso – Scary
— Violento – Violent
— Noioso – Boring
— Triste – Sad
— Bello/bellissimo – Good/great
— Avvincente – Riveting
— Strappalacrime – Tear-jerking
— Strano – Weird
— Buffo – Funny
**WARNING: SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T WATCHED BREAKING DAWN PART II YET!
Io: Ciao, Cher! Come stai? Ieri ho visto un film molto strano. Si intitola Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
Cher: Ah! Sto bene, Hannah. Twilight: Breaking Dawn… non l’ho mai sentito.
Io: Allora ti racconto la trama! Il film racconta la storia di due amanti del destino, che sono entrambi vampiri. La protagonista si chiama Bella e lei, nella prima parte del film, ha una bambina di nome Renesmee. Secondo me, Renesmee è un nome stupido.
Cher: Sono d’accordo. Che succede ai vampiri in questo film?
Io: C’è una famiglia di vampiri chiamata i Volturi. Vivono in Italia. Loro non approvano l’esistenza di Renesmee, quindi decidono di uccidere Bella, suo marito Edward e la loro bambina, Renesmee.
Cher: Allora Edward, Bella e Renesmee vengono uccisi?
I0: No. C’è una guerra e, naturalmente, la famiglia di Bella vince.
Cher: Ah. Secondo te, che tipo di film è?
I0: Boh, è un po’ d’azione e un po’ romantico. È un film di fantascienza, certamente.
Cher: Dobbiamo guardarlo! I film di fantascienza sono i miei preferiti!
Me: Hi Cher! How are you? Yesterday I watched a very weird film. It’s called Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
Cher: Ah! I’m good, Hannah. Twilight: Breaking Dawn… I’ve never heard of it.
Me: Then let me tell you the plot! The film tells the story of two star-crossed lovers that are both vampires. The main character is named Bella and she has a baby named Renesmee in the first part of the film. In my opinion, Renesmee is a stupid name.
Cher: I agree. What happens to the vampires in this film?
Me: There is a family of vampires called the Volturi. They live in Italy. They don’t like the existence of Renesmee, so they decide to kill Bella and her husband, Edward, and the baby Renesmee.
Cher: Then Edward, Bella and Renesmee are killed?
Me: No. There is a war and, of course, Bella’s family wins.
Cher: Ah. According to you, what kind of film is it?
Me: I don’t know, it is a little action, a little romantic. It is certainly a science fiction.
Cher: We have to watch it! Science fictions are my favorite films!
Have any questions or comments? Leave them below! Or tell us about your favorite movie in Italian!