Directed by Ermanno Olmi
Written by Ermanno Olmi and Ettori Lombardo
Olmi deserves a lot of credit for turning a story as slight as this one into something really enchanting and memorable.
Domenico Cantoni has recently left school and has received a letter allowing him to take an aptitude test for employment at a large corporation in Milan. The wages are low but a job there means lifetime employment. We follow Domenico through the slightly surreal examination process, during which he meets and tentatively attempts to court a female applicant.
Both Domenico and his friend are eventually hired. No clerk job is available so he begins working life as a messenger. She works in another building, has a different lunch break, and is very difficult for him to make contact with. He bumbles along during his working life and the social life the company provides at a very weird New Year’s Eve party.
Everybody has felt like a fish out of water at some time and Olmi perfectly captures that feeling. His Domenico is young, vulnerable, and totally endearing. Although absolutely nobody would sign up to work at this particular corporation, the director takes an amused and even affectionate look at the organization and its employees. I enjoyed this very much. Recommended.