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The Little Hours is a 2017 American medieval comedy film written and directed by Jeff Baena. The film is loosely based on the first and second stories of the third day of The Decameron, a collection of novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, and Molly Shannon.

The Little Hours
The Little Hours poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jeff Baena
Produced by
Screenplay by Jeff Baena
Based on The Decameron
by Giovanni Boccaccio
Starring
Music by Dan Romer
Cinematography Quyen Tran
Edited by Ryan Brown
Production
company
  • StarStream Media
  • Bow and Arrow Entertainment
  • Destro Films
  • Dublab Media
  • Productivity Media
  • Concourse Media
  • Exhibit Entertainment
  • Foton Pictures
Distributed by Gunpowder & Sky
Release date
  • January 19, 2017 (2017-01-19) (Sundance)
  • June 30, 2017 (2017-06-30) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.6 million[2]

Set in medieval times, the film is told in an anachronistic style, with contemporary dialogue and behavior. The plot jointly follows the lives of three nuns at a convent located in the countryside who encounter a young gardener posing as a deaf-mute. The film held its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2017 and was released on June 30, 2017, by Gunpowder & Sky. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the cast's performances.

Contents

PlotEdit

In the year 1347 in Garfagnana, a convent of nuns is led by Father Tommasso. The nuns include Alessandra, who wants a better life for herself and is held at the convent due to her father's support of the church rather than her own bidding; Ginevra, a gossip who is later revealed to be a lesbian and Jewish; and Fernanda, an emotionally unstable and violent woman. The three of them routinely assault the gardener, who quits in disgust. Meanwhile in Lunigiana, a young servant named Massetto gets caught having sexual relations with his master's wife. While on the run, he discovers Father Tommasso, who has gone to sell some embroidery but has instead gotten drunk and lost his possessions in the river. Massetto helps him get back home. The two arrange to have Massetto work as a gardener while pretending to be a deaf-mute, in hopes that this will dissuade the nuns from giving him trouble.

Ginevra is raped after being forced to drink alcohol under peer-pressure and constantly saying "No" while being sexually touched by the other girls. [3] Fernanda and her "childhood friend" Marta both end up raping Massetto by holding him at knife point and forcing him to have sex with them. [4] Massetto and Alessandra begin to form a closer bond while Ginevra begins to have feelings for Fernanda.

Later, Fernanda kidnaps Massetto at knife-point and takes him into the forest, where she meets up with a coven of witches. She attempts to perform a fertility ritual with Massetto but is stopped by the arrival of Alessandra and Ginevra. Ginevra, under the hallucinogenic effects of belladonna, takes off her clothes and begins dancing and steals the convent's donkey. Massetto reveals that he is not a deaf-mute while trying to free himself. They return to the convent, and all of their secrets are revealed in the presence of the visiting Bishop Bartolomeo. Father Tommasso is sent away to become a monk after it is discovered that he and the Mother Superior are in love and have a secret relationship. Massetto is returned to his master and is held in a jail cell with the impending threat of torture and death until the three nuns (who have reconciled and formed an even stronger friendship) help him escape. While Alessandra, Massetto, Ginevra, and Fernanda each run hand-in-hand back to the convent, the Mother Superior and Father Tommasso have met up in secret under the pretense that the Mother Superior has gone to retrieve the donkey. They hide as the nuns and Massetto run by. Fernanda stops and stares in puzzlement at the once again freed donkey that she herself used as an excuse so many times to escape the convent, until Ginevra pulls her away. With the group gone, Father Tommasso and Mother Superior embrace and smile at each other.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

In April 2016, it was revealed that Jeff Baena had written and directed a film starring Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Jon Gabrus, Jemima Kirke, Nick Offerman, Adam Pally, Paul Reiser, Lauren Weedman, and Paul Weitz.[5] It was also revealed that Liz Destro of Destro Films, would be producing the film, with StarStream Media and Bow and Arrow Entertainment executive producing alongside Productivity Media; also Exhibit Entertainment and Foton Pictures are executive producing.[6] Dan Romer composed the film's score.[7] The screenplay is based on the first and second tales of the third day[8][9] in The Decameron, a collection of novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio. Dialogue of the actors was improv and not from a script.[10] Sets are Medieval period accurate but the behavior and language are contemporary.[11] Filming locations included the following towns in the Tuscan province of Lucca: Castiglione di Garfagnana, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Pieve Fosciana, and Camporgiana. The castle scene was filmed in Fosdinovo, Province of Massa Carrara.

ReleaseEdit

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2017.[12][13] Shortly after, Gunpowder & Sky acquired distribution rights to the film.[14] It was released on June 30, 2017.[15]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

The Little Hours has grossed a total of $1,647,175.[2] The film opened in two theaters on its opening weekend and grossed $61,560.[16]

Critical receptionEdit

The Little Hours received positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 78% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 94 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.5/10. The site's critic consensus reads: "The Little Hours gets plenty of goofy mileage out of its gifted ensemble, anchoring its ribald laughs in a period comedy with some surprisingly timely subtext."[17] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 69 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Printable Film Guide" (PDF). Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "The Little Hours (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Aubrey Plaza and Alison Brie in The Little Hours". Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Movie talk: why I walked out of "The Little Hours"". 
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (April 26, 2016). "Alison Brie's Dark Comedy 'The Little Hours' Selling at Cannes". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  6. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (April 26, 2016). "Jeff Baena's 'The Little Hours' Acquired By Concourse; Alison Brie, Dave Franco Star – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Dan Romer Scoring Jeff Baena's 'The Little Hours' & 'Chasing Coral'". FilmMusicReporter. December 29, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Decameron Third Day, First Story Summary". Shmoop. Retrieved July 18, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Decameron Third Day, Second Story Summary". Shmoop. Retrieved July 18, 2017. 
  10. ^ Disc bonus interview with Kate Micucci
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  12. ^ Patten, Dominic (December 5, 2016). "Sundance 2017: Robert Redford, New Rashida Jones Netflix Series, 'Rebel In The Rye' & More On Premiere, Docu, Midnight & Kids Slates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Little Hours". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  14. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (January 26, 2017). "Gunpowder & Sky Acquires Sundance Pic 'The Little Hours'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  15. ^ Calvario, Liz (March 29, 2017). "Gunpowder & Sky Sets Release Date For Sundance Film 'The Little Hours'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  16. ^ "The Little Hours". BoxOfficeMojo. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  17. ^ "The Little Hours (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  18. ^ "The Little Hours". Metacritic.com. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 

External linksEdit