The Eight Mountains (2022)

The Eight Mountains (2022)

An ode to male friendship and self-discovery amidst the stunning vista of the Italian Alps

The Very Best

8.0

Movie

Belgium, France
English, Italian, Nepali
Drama
2022
CHARLOTTE VANDERMEERSCH, FELIX VAN GROENINGEN
Alessandro Borghi, Filippo Timi, Gualtiero Burzi
147 min

TL;DR

Oh, to build a cabin in the mountains with my bestie…

What it's about

After his father’s death, city boy Pietro aims to fulfill his father's dream of constructing a cabin with childhood friend Bruno, who he left in the Italian Alps years ago.

The take

Spanning over decades and continents, The Eight Mountains depicts the kind of childhood friendship that remains central to one’s whole world. While city boy Pietro (Luca Marinelli) treks from the Alps to the Himalayas, the mountain pasture of Grana remains special as his father’s old refuge and as the hometown of childhood best friend Bruno (Alessandro Borghi). When they were younger, the two struck a summer friendship as the only two boys in the small town. However, their friendship isn’t the kind formed through day-to-day, routine interactions. Instead, each moment they share is fleeting, cut short by circumstances, but therefore, all the more precious. Co-directors Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch slowly and patiently craft intermittent moments that form a lifelong friendship. And at the end, when they last bring us back to Grana, these moments are all we have left of this profound, meaningful connection.

What stands out

With its setting, The Eight Mountains is expected to have gorgeous views of the mountain pastures of Grana. The film delivers, but every view is supported by the film’s excellent cinematography. Yellows, browns, and blues mark the duo’s early years, while their connection later in life is renewed in grass green and campfire orange, ending only in pale white winter. Each time the film shifts to an indoor, cave, or night scene, excellent lighting is used to highlight their cast’s faces, most especially that of Pietro/Luca Marinelli. The orange lights from campfire or lanterns create a chiaroscuro-esque frame that emphasizes their expressions.

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