The first half of the film, in which Maglietta gradually discovers herself as something other than a servant, is genuinely engaging.
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Actresses such as Maglietta are why movies were invented: You never get tired of her mercurial personality or of her infinitely compelling face.
Soldini's consistently understated touch, and a poignant turn by Licia Maglietta as the confused and bemused main character, turns Bread and Tulips into a character study worth studying.
Soldini's amiable new comedy suggests that an older, better Italy of imagination, rationality and civility survives on the fringes of a modern nation obsessed, like most others, with consumerism, empty prosperity and easy pleasure.
A little too shopworn and pokey to be more than a respectable European diversion.
Characters' eccentricities feel contrived and the wackiness seems forced, though the film's amiable ambling does keep the viewer intrigued, if not charmed.
Too lethargic and strung-out for its own good. Thankfully, it casts a pleasant, amusing and touching spell anyway, but more energy and a markedly shorter running time might have turned a sunny diversion into something more special.
Manages the right balance of fairy tale and joyous self-discovery. And the Venice locations don't hurt.
A movie about serendipity and spontaneity.
A sweet-spirited, extremely well-cast little comedy.