By golly! The Italians have done it again -- with a delicate balance of humorous passion and brutal honesty about love, life and loss that only they can master.
The Lavazza Italian Film Festival has been alive and running across the country this month. With 30 films by and about Italy on the program -- from digitally-restored classics to the best of contemporary cinema -- there certainly has been something for everyone.
As the festival comes to a close, here are The Huffington Post Australia's top picks of films that should not be missed before the festival is over.
Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers)
Gracing the stage for LIFF's opening-night, this one was an Australian premiere (as well as an Italian box office sensation) and a cautionary tale that tackles technology and relationships.
Perfect Strangers places a group of old friends around the dining table and asks them to share their messages and calls throughout the course of one eye-opening night.
There's a tonne of sharp dialogue and a spray of witty moments from renowned director Paolo Genevose, so get ready to chuckle -- and self-reflect.
You can buy tickets here.
Le Vacanze Romane (Roman Holiday)
Prepare to fall in love all over again with the one-and-only Audrey Hepburn in this digitally-restored classic -- arguably one of the best romantic comedies of all time.
European Princess Ann (Hepburn) takes off for a night to Rome in a bid to skip out on her royal duties. Falling into the arms of journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) the pair begin an unsuspecting regal romance -- all in the name of a story.
This digital restoration of Roman Holiday will be dropping the curtain as LIFF's closing-night film so get in quick.
Championing a stellar female lead, Solo takes out LIFF's 'Donne Italiane' category that is all about the women.
In this Woody Allen-esque feature, director Laura Morante -- known for her front of camera roles in Bianca (1984) and The Son's Room (2012) -- stars as the lead heroine: Flavia, a middle-aged woman and psychological mess who is leaning on her two (remarried) ex-husbands, a dog and a therapist.
Assolo combines surrealism with sharp, direct address that confronts audiences as they join Flavia in her search to combat her own insecurities and to (finally) stand on her own two feet. Head to the website for tickets and session times.
Veloce Come Il Vento (Italian Race)
Romantic comedies not your jam? This one is fast-moving and adrenaline-packed, taking audiences into the frenetic world of Gran Turismo racing.
Based on a true story and directed by Matteo Rovere, Italian Race stars Stefano Acorsi as an ex-driver who returns to the racing track to train his sister Giulia, an upcoming champion in his craft.
In true Italian style, the film feeds off the power of familial ties and unbreakable spirits.
Race to the website for tickets and session times.
The Space Between
Staged as the first Australian-Italian co-production, this feature made its world premiere at LIFF. Showcasing the jaw-dropping landscapes of northern Italy is enough of a reason in itself to catch this one (did I mention vineyards and lots of WINE?)
Stunning vineyards and rugged mountains aside, The Space Between has a touching story to match. Marco is a 35-year-old ex chef who returns home to nurse his ill father. When tragedy strikes, he falls back on Olivia, the spirited Aussie who arrives in his town on a family mission. Here, countries and cultures collide in a way that captures the true essence of la dolce vita.
Grab those tickets here.
You can check out the Lavazza Italian Film Festival in:
Sydney -- September 13 to October 9
Melbourne -- September 15 to October 9
Adelaide -- September 21 to October 12
Perth -- September 22 to October 12
Brisbane -- September 28 to October 19
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