Italian Film Festival

The Fifth Wheel

Info: L'ultima ruota del carro, Italy, 2013, 113 mins, DCP

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Giovanni Veronesi

Cast: Elio Germano, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ricky Memphis, Sergio Rubini, Alessandro Haber


  • Tuesday January 13, 2015 - 6:30 pm

Giovanni Veronesi’s irresistible romantic comedy journeys through four decades of recent Italian history on the back of a good-hearted, honest middle-class guy who always finds himself one step behind.

Elio Germano (Magnificent Presence) stars as Ernesto, a humble, honest everyman who moves from job to job as his country’s political and economic situation goes from bad to worse. As a child in 1967, Ernesto’s father began berating his confidence calling him a “useless fifth wheel of the family”. In subsequent years, Ernesto determinedly searches for his calling as humorous experiences frame his life as a kindergarten cook, removalist and politician while his wacky family undergoes radical transformations. All the while, true historical events contextualize the eras, involving references to the likes of Aldo Moro, Socialist politician Bettino Craxi, and Silvio Berlusconi.

Strong musical themes are enlivened by cult songs from the past, making this a thoroughly enjoyable journey back in time!