Unstoppable Paola Cortellesi, “There’s Still Tomorrow” among the most watched Italian films of all time

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By John

It arrived at the cinema on 26 October, after opening the Rome Film Festival with applause and continues to set surprising records. Paola Cortellesi’s film “There’s Still Tomorrow” is a case study: a debut directorial, in black and white, a story from times gone by which however reaches powerfully and straight to the hearts of today’s Italians.

And so in 6 weeks the much loved actress turned director has broken through another wall: with the takings of the first weekend of December it exceeded 27 million euros (27 million 281 thousand) and rightfully entered the top ten of Italian films with the highest gross ever, where forever means since 1995, the year of the Cinetel acquisitions.

A ranking of the top ten dominated by Checco Zalone in the top 4 places (at the top Quo I go with 65.3 million) and with Life is beautiful by Benigni in fifth, followed by Benvenuti al Sud by Miniero, Ask me if I’m happy by Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo (with Cortellesi in the cast), Natale sul Nilo by Neri Parenti and Il Ciclone by Pieraccioni. Not only that, Cortellesi is consequently also in the top 25 of the highest grossing films in Italy, between Italian and international films: it is 22nd in a ranking led by Avatar, first with 65.6 million euros.

But where does he ever want to go? Certainly to displace Christopher Nolan from second place in cinema takings for the year 2023, given that Oppenheimer is at 27 million 956 thousand euros in takings and they are separated, again as of yesterday, by 675 thousand euros and it won’t be difficult. The highly probable case will also make There’s Still Tomorrow the first film of the season – Cinetel calculates it from August 1st – and moreover it has just won the Golden Ticket at the end of November in Sorrento, awarded by the cinema exhibitors themselves and sealed from a standing ovation, being the most watched Italian film of the year with almost 4 million tickets sold (3,980,223 as of yesterday).

Successes like this haven’t been seen for years, since the Zalone era in fact, and they are objectively also genre successes. The heart of the film – + spoiler for the few Italians who haven’t seen it + – is female emancipation in the post-war period, the first historic vote for women on 2 June 1946 with the queue outside the polling stations, the role in families and the road of rights told by a story of women (the protagonist Cortellesi, the young daughter Romana Maggiora Vergano, the greengrocer friend Emanuela Fanelli) filmed by a female director.

There would be nothing to underline if we were in times of true equality, there is certainly a new sensitivity and attention, the more glances there are the better it will always be. A few days ago Alice Rohrwacher hoped to soon escape “the myth of the “first woman” director, we still need many more and this is the hope”.

However, it is impossible not to notice how the year of entertainment in general is marked by women, from Barbie to Taylor Swift to Beyoncé to our Cortellesi and perhaps the word “phenomenon” that is often used to define these successes can be abandoned, given that three /four phenomena make a trend.

And this also comes after the controversy over the ministerial exclusion of There’s Still Tomorrow among selective public funding. How does Cortellesi experience the great record? Judging by the social networks of Vision which distributes the film in theaters (produced by Wildside with Vision) also with irony: the messages are funny: «If you don’t go to see There’s Still Tomorrow at the cinema, “how true is God” or “Don’t let them tell you where you should go. You know anyway: to the cinema!”. The many meetings in the cinemas, especially the immense one with the students, were the greatest satisfaction for her.