In Still Time, the year is 2010, and on October 26th workaholic Dante celebrates his 40th birthday with a surprise party surrounded by his friends, his family, and his girlfriend Alice. That night, after all the guests go home, he goes to sleep with Alice by his side.
When he wakes up the next morning, Dante is shocked to discover that Alice is five months pregnant. And in a further shock, he learns that a year has passed and it is now his 41st birthday.
Believing this to be some kind of dream, Dante goes back to bed. But in the split second that he closes his eyes and reopens them, he wakes to find that yet another year has flown by and it is now October 26th 2012 – the day of his 42nd birthday.
Confused, a little afraid, and concerned about his mental health, Dante goes for a check-up with his doctor, only to discover that there is nothing wrong with him. However, Dante knows this isn’t the case, as for some reason he appears to be moving swiftly through time, missing huge chunks of his life in the process.
As hours and minutes pass by, the birthdays keep coming, and Dante finds himself having to cope with huge changes that he can’t control. Relationships come and go, life takes some unexpected turns, and all Dante can do is try to make sense of the world around him as he jumps from one birthday to the next.
Directed and co-written by Alessandro Aronadio, and starring Edoardo Leo and Barbara Ronchi, Still Time (aka Era Ora) is an Italian romantic drama, which is new to Netflix from today. The movie is a time-hopping story, about the way in which life passes someone by, and is a poignant piece which is engrossing and a delight to watch.
The film centres itself around the theory that time passes more quickly once you’ve reached the age of 40. It then leans into this concept, adds a sprinkling of sci-fi to speed things up, and has the central character moving through time.
While most middle-aged people will tell you that every year seems to come round a little faster these days, for Dante this is true. Although time passes normally for everyone else in the film, Dante only gets to experience a few moments here and there, and always on his birthday.
He is oblivious to anything that happens in between, and only learns about the events of the previous 364 days, when he finds himself moving on to the next year. Unable to stop what is happening, he is forced to witness his life change in unexpected ways, and see people come and go too.
What’s interesting about this movie is the way in which it deals with the passage of time. Rather than have Dante experience a full day with every time hop, sometimes he only spends a few minutes on each birthday, before he is moved onto the next.
By doing this, Still Time is able to maintain its core premise, without becoming tedious. His time hops happen at random intervals, without any warning, and this means both Dante and the audience are whisked along to the next year quite swiftly, before any boredom sets in.
Still Time also has a great knack of pulling at the heartstrings. We all know that time is fleeting, and life is precious, so seeing how much time Dante loses in the blink of an eye creates a real impact.
There is an ongoing commentary in this movie about how much time we devote to activities that aren’t all that important, and how we lose precious moments with the people who mean so much to us. If nothing else, this film should leave everyone with the sense that maybe we are all moving a little too fast, and slowing down a touch wouldn’t be a bad thing.
On a personal level, I found Still Time deeply impactful. I reached my 40s fairly recently, and I don’t mind admitting that I struggled with it then, and I am still struggling with it now.
Over the past few years, I have also lost some important people in my life, and this coupled with reaching middle age has greatly altered the way I view the world. I look back, I look forward, and I spend time thinking about the paths taken, and the paths yet to come.
So, watching Dante hurtle from one birthday to another feels deeply familiar to me, and I can see a connection between myself and what’s on screen. Thankfully, I’m not speeding through time in the way he is, although the pace at which my hair is turning grey is still quite frightening.
While I believe that Still Time will probably hit harder for audiences over the age of 40, I feel that it can still work well for those on the other side. The core concept is about the way in which we take life for granted and this is something that many people can relate to.
Still Time also boasts a strong performance from lead actor Edoardo Leo, some fun touches of comedy here and there, and solid direction from Alessandro Aronadio. All-in-all, there’s plenty on offer, and the film has enough going for it to grab and maintain anyone’s attention.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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