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The Girl By the Lake (2010)

Toni Servillo , Valeria Golino , Andrea Molaioli  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Toni Servillo, Valeria Golino, Fabrizio Gifuni, Omero Antonutti
  • Directors: Andrea Molaioli
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IISTD6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Girl By the Lake" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

It swept Italy s Academy Awards, won the Venice Film Festival s top acting prize for star Toni Servillo (IL DIVO, GOMORRA) and remains one of the most acclaimed mystery thrillers in years: When a beautiful young girl is found murdered in an idyllic Northern Italy village, Inspector Giovanni Sanzio (Servillo) is called in from the capital to investigate. But in a small town where nobody is what they seem, anyone could be capable of homicide and everyone may be hiding a dark secret...including Inspector Sanzio. Valeria Golino (FRIDA), Fabrizio Gifuni (THE BEST OF YOUTH) and Omero Antonutti (PADRE PADRONE) co-star in this startling drama the breakthrough debut from co-writer/director Andrea Molaioli based on the bestselling Inspector Sejer novel Don t Look Back by Karin Fossum.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 STARS) Well-Made Italian Crime Drama August 15, 2009
The 2007 Italian film "The Girl by the Lake" ("La ragazza del lago") is a mystery drama based on a book by Norwegian crime fiction writer Karin Fossum. I know nothing about the author and her books, but the filmed adaptation reminded me of P. D. James crime novels, in which understanding the complicated human relations within a closed community often plays a significant role in solving the seemingly unusual case.

The film's story revolves around a murder of a young girl that happens in a small provincial town in mountainous North Italy, and a veteran police detective sent from a nearby town to investigate the case. As I said, the film is also about the ordinary people living in the small community and the relations between them which they think they know well enough.

Director Andrea Molaioli (feature film debut) keeps a good pace throughout the film (that runs only 95 minutes), which may look like an extended episode of a US/British TV series to some viewers because of its straightforward approach to the material. Don't expect a big surprise here. In a sense, as the title suggests, "The Girl by the Lake" is not about the crime, but about the secrets of the victim and the people surrounding her.

I was a little disappointed with the too convenient conclusion, but still I was impressed with the unanimously good acting from the talented cast. On the IMDb website the name of Valeria Golino is listed at the top of the cast, but she actually appears as a cameo. The real star is Toni Servillo playing the seasoned investigator, who must cope with his personal issues during the investigations, and probably, also the beautiful landscapes of the small town captured by the cinematographer Ramiro Civita.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La regazza...It's So Sad March 13, 2010
Firstly, this is a lovely film, shot at a town whose name I cannot discover but I know is in northeastern Italy, the Alps, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Here they speak a wonderfully melodious Italian that is closer to the Swiss Friuli dialect, which in turn sounds a lot like Spanish.

Inspector Giovanni Sanzio, thoroughly based on Norwegian author Karin Fossum's Inspector Konrad Sejer, is on the case in this adaptation of Fossum's Sejer novel "Don't Look Back". As Fossum describes Insp. Sejer, Insp. Sanzio is decent, loves his job and has awesome powers of visualization in solving crimes. Few foreign adaptations of Fossum's globally popular novels exist--this film may be the only true-to-form foreign adaptation. I wonder how much Fossum herself made on this film.

Antonio Servillo, who looks like Keenan Wynn, is superb as Insp. Sanzio. When a teen girl is found dead by the lakeside, Sanzio is called in to investigate. Along the way, he carefully roots up the town's secrets, though in actuality there are only a few people involved in any secrets whatsoever...unlike the earlier Norwegian film "Bloody Angels", in which the whole town was involved. (By the way, "Bloody Angels" was not an adaptation or film version of Fossum's, but the inspector and the plot of "Angels" is based on her Inspector Sejer mysteries.)

Here, the viewer will enjoy refreshing and beautiful scenery of a part of Italy we rarely see, and will thrill to the laid-back European-style homicide investigation that is so evident in the Norwegian and Swedish books/films. Insp. Sanzio digs up more than he cares to in this film, and the mystery unfolds well. A few droopy moments and silly red herrings will drive you up the wall, but not for long, so endure it. A good murder needs solving!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
An extremely low key and earnest police procedural, "The Girl by the Lake" eschews most of the stylized dramatics of conventional crime drama. This surprisingly simple and straightforward film charts a pretty realistic and methodical murder investigation. This Italian mystery unfolds at a leisurely pace, so if you're looking for action mayhem--this is not the picture for you! Infused with a melancholy and sadness, "The Girl by the Lake" is most successful at revealing a small town dynamic and the secrets inherent within such an intimate environment. Shot in an absolutely gorgeous and idyllic village, the town's beauty stands in stark contrast to the unpleasantness that must be exposed.

The film begins with a brilliant bit of trickery that instantly pulls you into the action. Once the initial red herring is revealed, however, the primary story line becomes clear. A local girl is found nude and carefully positioned at the lake (I suppose you might have gathered that, however, from the title!). Sensing that the culprit was someone she knew, the police (headed by a great character actor Toni Servillo) start to track her last day of life. In this small village, it seems everyone has a connection to the girl--but no real motive. At times, the crime itself takes a back seat as the investigators start to uncover secrets about the past, about town inhabitants, and about the girl herself. And as we circle around the eventual solution, there might be more than one crime to shed light on.

"The Girl by the Lake" doesn't succeed with big shocks and stunning surprises. It is as calm as the lake in question. Servillo personally connects to the case as he sees some parallels to his own home life. And so with dogged determination, he steadfastly pursues answers.
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