by -

AgostinoSome of the best films I know were the ones made in the 60’s and 70’s. Agostino, directed by Mauro Bolognini, is no exception. The film is based on the novel of the same name –Agostino, written in 1945 by Alberto Moravia .

Set in Venice, the film’s opening scene shows a  beautiful woman (Ingrid Thulin) and her young son (Paolo Colombo) on vacation.  Almost immediately, it becomes clear that the son and the mother are very close. Later in the film this closeness helps us understand why Agostino, who is used to receiving the undivided attention of his mother, feels betrayed when she decides to go out with one of the local gigolos. She is a rich and beautiful widow – which explains why the local men are quite fond of her, despite the fact that she spends almost all of her time with Agostino around.

The film contains a variety of nuances and subtle hints, compared with unmistakable symbolism.  From a blurred childhood vision, the film transforms itself into a quite clear image of the harsher realities of adulthood. agostino and his motherThe coming of age experience for Agostino allows the viewer to observe his progressive detachment from the fabulous atmosphere of childhood and his confrontation with the real world — observing his moments of anger and confusion in the process of growing up.

That is why Agostino immediately takes on a vaguely morbid tinge. It is not the story of just any boy. It is the story of a boy clearly predisposed to a certain kind of experience.


I was astonished by the acting performance of Paolo Colombo, whose facial expressions and attitude contributed greatly to the illustration of his character. The rest of the actors also did a good job in portraying their respective characters. In addition to that, the film has an excellent cinematography which, despite being in black and white, is guaranteed to make quite an impression on its viewers .

Note : I saw Agostino in Italian and, while I was able to get most of the dialogue, it’s possible that I may have missed something which could possibly influence my review.

I would like to express my gratitude to CVMC for providing the DVD of the film Agostino. This review would not have been possible without their support. (CVMC is looking for someone to translate the Italian to English for subtitling – if you know Italian please contact Michael at


Agostino coming of age movie review Title: Agostino
Director: Mauro Bolognini
Release year: 1962, Baltea Film
Cast: Paolo Colombo, Ingrid Thulin, John Saxon, Mario Bartoletti, Aldo Bussaglia, Roberto Mancia, Franco Schiorlin, Gennaro Mesfun, Renato Terra and others


Georgi Krastev, has been reviewing movies and music for close to seven years. He attended high schools in East Europe and the US and graduated from a university in England.



  1. Interesting! Though the italian might be a bit of a roadblock, I'm sure the film itself could lead me along.

  2. Yes I have seen Le souffle au coeur – trough at first I was not sure as I am more familiar with its American title ” Murmur of the Heart”. Indeed there are similarities between both movies …still the coming of age phenomenon is examined better in Agostino for me . At the same time the director of Le souffle au coeur is Louis Malle which speaks enough of it.Even Lucas ( from Lucas4you ) in his reviews calls it “one of the finest coming-of-age films ever made”

  3. Judging by your review this sounds like a splendid movie, but i guess i'll just have to wait until a release with english subtitles becomes availiable.

    Have you seen the movie Le souffle au coeur beacause it seems to be a bit similar to this one… am i right?

Leave a Reply