Thursday, 15 April 2010

Genova: Movie Review

Genova: Movie Review

Rating: 5/10
Cast: Colin Firth, Hope Davis, Catherine Keener, Willa Holland, Perla Haney-Jardine
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Genova stars Colin Firth as a professor whose life is turned upside down by the death of his wife in a car accident.
But it's not just his life which is changed; his two daughters are deeply traumatized by the incident as they were in the car at the time. The youngest, Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine) was a prime factor in the crash and is struggling to deal with the guilt, as well as being wracked by night terrors.
The eldest Kelly (Willa Holland) is bordering on her teen years and so with these two in mind, Firth's Joe moves the pair of them to Genoa, Italy to try and start afresh.
However, the move to Italy has different effects on all of them as Mary begins to see her dead mother (an ethereal Hope Davis) and Kelly begins to discover her sexuality.
Genova is an odd film; shot in hand held close ups in places and with beautiful scenery, it is at times, a little too slow to get into. Granted, it's supposed to be about the build up of the circumstance, but you don't quite know what genre it's aiming for.
At times, it's a teen drama as the family begins to fall apart, but the appearance of the mother appears to suggest a degree of ghost story. Sadly it doesn't quite work as well as perhaps it should.
This is no reflection on the cast who carry the script well and the shots inside Italys myriad mazes of streets do well to capture the claustrophobia of parts of the city. However, it's the end of the film which just slaps across the face. After a build up in the last 15 minutes, and a major incident involving all three of the main protagonists, you're expecting to see some kind of closure and resolution. But what you get is another scene on the end which doesn't suggest there's any kind of end for any of them.

Whilst it's fair to say thats true of life, having invested 90 minutes into these characters, it seems only reasonable to expect a little more.

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