The Place (film)

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The Place
The Place - poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaolo Genovese
Produced byMarco Belardi
Written byChristopher Kubasik
Screenplay byPaolo Genovese, Isabella Aguilar
Based onThe Booth at the End
by Christopher Kubasik
StarringMarco Giallini, Alessandro Borghi, Sabrina Ferilli, Giulia Lazzarini, Vinicio Marchioni, Valerio Mastandrea, Silvio Muccino, Rocco Papaleo, Vittoria Puccini, Alba Rohrwacher
Music byMaurizio Filardo
CinematographyFabrizio Lucci
Edited byConsuelo Catucci
Medusa Film, Lotus Productions, Leone Film Group, Tornante Company
Release date
  • 9 November 2017 (2017-11-09) (Italy)
Running time
105 min

The Place is a 2017 Italian feature film directed by Paolo Genovese, who also co-authored the script.[1] The film is a cinematographic adaptation of the 2010 American television series The Booth at the End created by Christopher Kubasik.[2] The movie features Marco Giallini, Alessandro Borghi, Sabrina Ferilli, Giulia Lazzarini, Vinicio Marchioni, Valerio Mastandrea, Silvio Muccino, Rocco Papaleo, Vittoria Puccini, and Alba Rohrwacher.[3] The plot centers on a seemingly random group of nine people who want to fulfill their greatest wishes, so they enter into a Faustian pact with a mysterious man who is able to give them what they want in exchange for fulfilling his own requests.[4]


A mysterious man dressed in a business suit sits at the table in a cheap restaurant called "The Place" and is ready to listen to requests and wishes of various people coming to him. In return for the fulfillment of their requests, he makes his own demands, which often sound terrible or sometimes directly interfere with what he demanded from other visitors. While interviewing people, the man always keeps a thick, leather-covered notebook at ready, reading from it and writing the visitors' wishes with an expensive pen. Although the man declares that he does not set impossible tasks, each of his demands implies going against a number of basic ethical principles. The wishmaker also comments that the people are free to cancel the deal anytime they want.

Police officer Ettore, who needs to find the money stolen in a burglary, is asked to beat someone to blood. The nun Chiara, who has lost her faith in God and desperately wants to find it again, is invited to get pregnant. Mechanic Odoacre, in exchange for a night of sex with a model, is required to protect a child. Another man is asked to kill this little girl to save the life of a seriously ill child. Old Marcella, in exchange for healing her Alzheimer's husband, must perpetrate a massacre in a crowded place with an explosive device that she must assemble herself. Young Martina has to commit a burglary for an exact value of 100,000 euros and 5 cents if she wants to become more beautiful. Blind Fulvio wants to regain his sight and is assigned to rape a woman. Azzurra must make sure that a husband and a wife die if she wants her husband to come back to her. Young Alex, the burglar whom police officer Ettore searches for, enters the deal with the man without taking it seriously and asks for his father (Ettore) to leave him alone forever.

Gradually, the lives of all the participants intertwines, sometimes making them to help each other and other times to fight with each other. The ultimate goal of the mysterious man, however, remains unknown until the café waitress Angela gets involved in the events, trying to understand the man's identity and motivation. The film ends with an episode in which the man confesses to Angela that he wants to stop doing what he does as he is very tired of his duty. Angela says that this is possible, takes his notebook, pulls out a pen, and starts writing—obviously assuming the man's role. In the last moments of the movie, the same table is shown at which the man sat the entire film. However, now the table is empty, and a page torn out from his notebook is burning in an ashtray as a symbol of his completed mission.



The film premiered at the Rome Film Festival in 2017 and was released on Italian screens on 9 November 2017.[5]


Vittoria Scarpa of Cineuropa wrote "It’s been one of the most anticipated films of the season. Following the overwhelming success of Perfect Strangers, Paolo Genovese was in a position to do something daring and that he did, pulling an ambitious and metaphorical film out of his hat, which may not be for everyone, but in which he truly leaves comedy behind for the first time... A dialogue film, a test for its actors, and a conceptual "huis clos," which asks the audience one single yet weighty question: how far would you go to get what you want?"[6]


  1. ^ "THE PLACE 2017". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Article". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ "THE PLACE by Paolo Genovese". Cineuropa. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  4. ^ FINOS, ARIANNA. "'The Place', Genovese: "Racconto i nostri demoni grazie ad una nazionale d'attori"". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  5. ^ "The Place: ecco il primo trailer del nuovo film di Paolo Genovese con un cast d'eccezione" (in Italian). Coming Soon. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  6. ^ Scarpa, Vittoria (11 September 2017). "Review: The Place". Retrieved 26 December 2018.

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