“Aeneas”, the new film by Pietro Castellitto arrives. From the plot to the cast, the things you need to know

“It’s a film about the desire to feel alive.” This is how Pietro Castellitto described his latest film, of which he is director, screenwriter and protagonist. It’s called Aeneas and will be released in Italian cinemas tomorrow, Thursday 11 January. The main character of this story of love and friendship is Aeneas, a boy – whose name is a vivid reference to the myth of the hero of antiquity – born into a bourgeois Roman family: together with his best friend Valentino, in attempt to feel alive ends up in a drug ring.

The plot

The protagonist of the film, therefore, is Aeneas. He is the thirty-year-old son of a bourgeois family in northern Rome. He owns a sushi restaurant, plays tennis, smokes an electronic cigarette. He has a best friend, Valentino, who recently obtained his aviator’s license. The two are very close and share the desire to live their youth with a thousand adventures, even outside the rules. They try to find something that makes them feel alive. They never miss the most renowned parties. And they deal cocaine. Enea has stopped pulling her since he met Eva, the girl he wants to marry. In the background, Enea’s family members move: her mother is a television journalist pervaded by a sense of defeat, her father is a melancholic psychiatrist specializing in adolescents, her brother is a young man who has more problems than satisfactions at school. Everything comes to a head when Enea ends up in a drug trafficking ring that is bigger than him, attracting too much attention: even in a difficult moment, however, love remains to sustain him.

This is the official plot of the film: “Aeneas chases the myth in his name, he does it to feel alive in a dead and decadent era. She does it together with Valentino, a newly baptized aviator. The two, in addition to dealing and partying, share youth. Friends forever, victims and architects of a corrupt world, but driven by an incorruptible vitality. Beyond the boundaries of the rules, on the other side of morality, there is a sea full of humanity and symbols to discover. Aeneas and Valentino will fly over it to the most extreme consequences. However, drugs and crime are the invisible shadow of a story that talks about something else: a melancholic father, a brother who fights at school, a mother defeated by love and a beautiful girl, a happy ending and a happy death, a palm tree falling on a glass world. It is in the midst of the cracks of everyday life that Aeneas and Valentino’s adventure slowly unravels. An adventure that will appear criminal to others, but which for them is, and will be, first of all, an adventure of friendship and love.”

The cast

In the role of Aeneas there is Pietro Castellitto. In the film we also find two of her family members: her father Sergio Castellitto (who plays Celeste, the protagonist’s father) and her younger brother Cesare Castellitto (who plays Brenno, the youngest brother). Giving the face of Enea’s mother is Chiara Noschese. In the role of his friend Valentino there is the singer-songwriter and rapper Giorgio Quarzo Guarascio, better known as “Tutti Fenomeni”, making his debut as an actor. Eva, Aeneas’ love, is Benedetta Porcaroli. The cast also includes Adamo Dionisi, Matteo Branciamore, Giorgio Montanini, Clara Galante, Shi Yang and Paolo Giovannucci. “It was a very happy job for me, also complex due to the multitude of stories and dynamics that take place,” said Benedetta Porcaroli. “I imagined the film by reading the screenplay, because the dynamics depicted of friendship, love and comparison between generations are extremely precise,” she added. And you explained about her character, Eva: “In Eva there was something of mine, of a temperament that I know. She is a woman who has a strong rational aspect, so much so that she becomes a sort of refuge for Aeneas even though she is aware of the danger that surrounds him. But Eva is also a free character, capable of falling in love with someone so different from her, also because she is perhaps aware that in the end love transcends everything.”

Sergio Castellitto was also present

In Aeneas, as mentioned, Sergio Castellitto also stars: it is the first time it has been directed by his son. “I tried in every way not to make a film with my father. But the character of Celeste, who is the father of the protagonist Aeneas, travels on an ironic emotional frequency that no one would have intercepted better than him. Maybe Adam Driver,” Pietro Castellitto said in an interview. He also revealed that he had called him at one in the morning to offer him the part, receiving a swear word and a hung up call. “It was a yes,” joked the young director. “Before that phone call – Sergio Castellitto said – I had gone to Imdb and saw that 99 titles were accredited under my name. When Pietro proposed the film to me, I thought it would be the hundredth: it seemed like a loving sign.” On the film, Sergio Castellitto commented: “The thing that fascinates me most is the feeling that Pietro managed to put into these two seasons of existence, because more than generations, I would talk about seasons of life. On the one hand there are these ‘good’ adults who are broken inside, broken, failed to some extent, compared to a series of very ‘bad’ young characters who however have the strength to still be romantic and tragic. And so, I think this is one of the most beautiful things that the film tries to put on stage.”

The director Pietro Castellitto

Aeneas is Pietro Castellitto’s second directorial work. Romano, born in 1991, is the son of the actor Sergio Castellitto and the writer Margaret Mazzantini. His debut film – in 2020 – was The predators, with which he obtained the David di Donatello and the Nastro d’argento as best debut director and the Premio Orizzonti in Venice for best screenplay. “Aeneas it’s a gangster movie without the gangster part. A gender story without the gender. The criminal component of the film travels silently on a hidden track and suddenly arrives in the cracks of everyday relationships, upsetting the unaware protagonists,” said the young director. What’s the movie about? “Through the Vietnam of Northern Rome, it tells a story more similar to the temperature of life and less grotesque than my first film. I liked the idea of ​​a film that was very symbolic towards life and wasn’t too rhetorical about death coming and erasing everything: family lunches, endless loves and friendships,” he added. It’s still: “Aeneas it’s a film about the desire to feel alive. What drives all of Aeneas’ choices is the need to feel the movement of life within himself. And if perhaps the restaurants, the sports club, the places she frequents may be elitist, the desire to feel alive is not, it cuts across all generations and all environments”. “I tell the story of the bourgeois conflict – said Castellitto –, but I wanted to free myself from the cliché according to which the apathetic bourgeois family generates nihilistic children. Aeneas’s family is full of humanity. Aeneas for me is a romantic hero. His discomfort lies in trying to live up to his ambitions. He lives the tragic paradox whereby one feels life better if she is at war: he and his friends will invent their own war”.


Aeneas was presented in competition during the eightieth edition of the Venice Film Festival. Filmed in the 18 Led Volume Stage Theater in Cinecittà, it lasts 115 minutes and will be in theaters from tomorrow, January 11, on 250 copies with Vision. It is produced by Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment, a Fremantle group company, and by Luca Guadagnino for Frenesy, in collaboration with Sky, Prime Video and Giovane film. As well as for The predatorsthe original music by Aeneas they are by Niccolò Contessa, Roman producer and singer-songwriter behind the musical project “I Cani”. As for the technical cast, the photography is by Radek Ladczuk, the editing by Gianluca Scarpa, the set design by Massimiliano Nocente, the costumes by Andrea Cavalletto, the sound by Alessandro Palmerini, the visual effects by Stefano Leoni (Italian Digital Effects).