Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nuovomondo (The Golden Door)

Quite an interesting movie by Emanuel Crialsese that surely will do great in festivals, but I wonder if all audiences, especially in America, would like it… probably not and it is a pity because is their history, as the story is about the essence of America, immigration.

Set at the beginning of XX century tells the story of a peasant Sicilian family that decides to immigrate to America and as they embark on this surreal trip, we go along with them watching and feeling all their tribulations during the trip and when they arrive at Ellis Island.

But don’t be fooled and think that is only about that particular immigration, this story is also about the rest of the world with some countries producing emigrants and others receiving immigrants. It is a story that today still happens, legally or illegally allover the world. Well, at least that is what this movie makes me think.

Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as the enigmatic Lucy or Luce as Salvatore (Vicenzo Amato) calls her, leads a cast of actors with impeccable performances, especially the mother Donna Fortunata played by Aurora Quattrocchi that is truly mesmerizing in all her scenes. For those that remember Vincent Schiavelli (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) let me share with you that this is his last movie and his character was supposed to be major, but he died during the shooting of the film.

This movie was meticulously researched for over a year, based on letters that Italian immigrants wrote and you can feel/see it in almost every scene of the film; everything looks and seems so real that you end up feeling that you went into time traveling. And I say almost, because the movie is sprinkled with some outstanding surrealistic scenes that add magic to this so realistic movie. I have to admit that I just loved those scenes and they where placed in each exact moment of the story, when you need relief from everything that is happening. Like one viewer said: Bravo Maestro! Beyond doubt Emanuel Crialese did an outstanding directorial and writing jobs, as he also is the screenplay writer.

Winner of 6 awards for Crialese at the 2006 Venice Festival, including the Silver Lion for Revelation, was also nominated for the Golden Lion. He also was nominated at the 2006 European Film Awards for Best Director.

If you understand Italian, I suggest you read Italian reviews as they really nail this film in all its grandness.

This film and Il Caimano make me feel good that I decided to have my Italian cinema cycle and let me finish by saying that this film is not for all audiences, this film is for those that appreciate a well-acted and extremely well directed films.

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