Arriving in Torino from Sicily, impoverished and illiterate laborer Giovanni (Lo Verso) plans to help his teenage brother, Pietro (Giuffrida), in his efforts to become a schoolteacher. But the aloof, secretive Pietro evades Giovanni, a passionate striver who sees his younger sibling as the embodiment of hope and a better life. As the years pass, and city life begins to wear down Giovanni's resolve, he and Pietro have a momentous confrontation.
Why we love it
Amelio's despondent tale of two brothers seems to have been yanked straight out of Vittorio De Sica's playbook, with a dash of Biblical fraternal conflict to complete the picture. Lo Verso is a mesmerizing presence, as he touchingly conveys Giovanni's seemingly limitless love and naiveté. So, too, is Giuffrida, playing the mysterious, hard-to-read Pietro, who may not be everything he represents to Giovanni. A fascinating, puzzling study of loyalty and family bonds twisted by postwar Italy's unforgiving pace, "Laughed" will leave its mark on your heart.