A Closer Look at the Luminous, Gentle Stunner of ‘The Eight Mountains’

by Joshua Brown
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Time and weather go by quickly in the high mountains seen in the movie “The Eight Mountains”. But even so, this movie shows how two friends remain close over a long period of time.

The movie, made by two Belgian filmmakers named Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen, shows the story of two friends from their childhood until they grow into adults. This movie is so beautiful and special, it will literally take your breath away! It is set in the Italian Alps and it’s amazing to look at. Based on a bestseller book called Paolo Cognetti, it’s both grand and personal at once.

Last year, the movie “The Eight Mountains” won a special prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Although it’s quite slow and lasts for two and a half hours, it’s still worth watching because it talks about how people change over time. In this movie, there is a remote mountain cabin located in northwestern Italy that acts as an important place for both Pietro and Bruno throughout their lives. Watching this movie can provide you with a special experience that will make you want to come back and watch it again!

When we first meet Pietro and Bruno, they are 11-years old. Pietro’s family is wealthy, living in the city of Turin and only go to the Alps on holiday. Meanwhile, Bruno’s family is poor and stays in the mountains all year long. However, despite their differences in backgrounds, they quickly become best friends and get to enjoy playing around in an incredibly beautiful mountain setting (just like what was shown in the movie ‘Luca’ from Pixar Studios that took place further down).

The Belgian filmmakers Vandermeersch and van Groeningen, with the help of cinematographer Ruben Impens, filmed “The Eight Mountains” while using a format that shows a sort of square-shaped box on the screen. This looks kind of strange compared to the vastness of the mountains, but it creates a feeling that brings the characters together and somehow makes the hills look very alive in this movie.

The music in the movie “The Eight Mountains” is really special. It was composed by Swedish songwriter, Daniel Norgren, who used dreamy and organ-like sounds to make his folk songs sound beautiful throughout the entire film. Just like in the movie “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” where Leonard Cohen set the mood with his music, different kinds of peaceful tunes from Norgren moved feelings of something ethereal, compassionate and ageless around us. All together with all these amazing views made a marvelous and enchanting show!

Pietro and Bruno, who were once best friends, have now grown up and lead two different lives. Pietro enjoys vacations and going to the mountains but for Bruno this is not just a vacation spot; it’s his home. Pietro’s father dies when he was busy working all the time and we assume that he only found joy in spending some time with his family at the cabin in the mountains.

Pietro’s relationship with his dad is strained, but Bruno is really close to him. The movie is mostly about the father-son story in its first half. After years of being away, Pietro who is a writer comes back to help Bruno and rebuild the cabin together. It’s a project to mend things between them as well as for his father’s dreams that he never achieved when it comes to their time spent in the mountains.

Pietro and Bruno are brothers with very different lives. Pietro journeys across the world while Bruno stays rooted in one place, starts a family, and tries to make enough money to live. Despite their differences, the bond they share is strong – Pietro visits every summer, making sure to stay connected.

Marinelli and Borghi have strong relationships, but they are different people and their differences can’t be solved. It’s best not to talk about the events in “The Eight Mountains”, because it doesn’t matter much in the end. Life has ups and downs, changes, and summer turning into winter. Pietro’s dad wanted an Alpine vacation spot but it never happened. The only thing that will stay are the mountains.

“The Eight Mountains,” a movie released by Janus Films and Sideshow doesn’t have a rating from the Motion Picture Association. It is in Italian and lasts for 147 minutes. Most people said it was really good, giving it 3.5 stars out of 4.

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