Summer in Genoa
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Top Customer Reviews
Colin Firth can act his way out of a paper bag. Kathleen Keener, one of those actresses that gives any film a feeling of reality is superb in this film. That said, this could be one of the more symbolic films I have seen. It is an OK film, but not a great one. Heavy on drama and darkness and grief.
A family has lost their mother in a car accident. The youngest daughter thinks she is to blame for the accident. The older daughter feels her life is out of control and not what she wants. Dad, is a college professor. He has a contact in Genova, an old college friend, who tells him of a job. Italy may just be the place to chase their demons away. The city is indeed beautiful, and we see quite a lot of it. the back streets and channels as the girls walk their way to piano lessons each day. Life moves on slowly, the older daughter is exploring her sexuality and acting out. The younger child is left to deal with the daily life. The city and the back alleys and the maze of streets are a metaphor for the inner turmoil of each of the members of the family. It is a beautiful film, a quiet film that does not say much but brings to the surface the emotions that surround the family. These emotions are transported to the audience, and we are in a sense filled with anxiety waiting for the next move. The film was not what I expected, and it is not a great film, but well worth viewing.
Recommended. prisrob 04-16-11
The King's Speech
The Real Blonde
What bothered me most was the apparent lack of parental control. The two daughters seem to act without regard for others or consequences. For example, would a bright, pre-adolescent child really be reckless enough to cover both her mother's eyes while driving on an icy road? Why was the father's response so "subdued" when his teenage daughter disregards his curfew on going out with unknown Italian boys shortly after arriving in Genoa? Instead, he allows her to treat him disrespectfully and party every night and day, even when she fails to be there for her younger sister. Also, younger daughter, Mary, seems to think she can take off at any time without any consequence to follow her dead mother's ghost, e.g. leaving the church and worrying the entire family for hours; later she causes a traffic accident by running across a busy street - again without regard for others. These actions may be examples of the girls acting out but then what lies underneath needs to be dealt with, not ignored or patted with "There, there. It's OK." The budding romantic relationship between the father and one of his students seems out of place. Yes, the director may want to show the father getting on with his life but where does this romance lead? In the film - no where.
These issues are difficult to address but instead of delving into them, the director merely skims the surface - creating a sketch rather than a painting. Most of the cinematography was done with hand-held camera and creates greater intimacy. However, sometimes the shaky pictures were too much, e.g. when Joe is desperately looking for Mary in the hillside.
Overall, beautiful location with fine actors Colin Firth and Catherine Keener but missed the mark.
With a cinéma vérité style and plot, this film feels like a reality show. Dialogue is mumbled and often insignificant, emotions are muted and interactions are casual, the handheld camera is often shaky, and it all seems too ordinary to be interesting for an hour and a half. The children are often lost among the dark and winding alleyways of the city, building tension that, unfortunately, never pays off. The script (which annoyingly sometimes said they were there for a year, other times just there for the summer) goes on and on about their daily activities in a new city and that's realistic, but not, for me, necessarily entertaining.
Firth is very good as the father, but we never get to know or understand him well. Only once does he mention his wife and his feelings about her aren't clear. He seems to get over her quickly enough, embracing the city and romancing a local. Willa Holland is convincing as a self-centered and headstrong teen and is thoroughly unlikable. The youngest daughter is more sympathetic, but there was something lacking that kept me from caring about her.
All in all, I enjoyed the scenery but the story lacked emotion and clarity and was dull for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Transports you to Genoa Italy as though you were experiencing the troubled family's grief. Colin Firth in top form. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
SUMMER IN GENOA stars a father, who is a professor in Chicago, and who does a summer sabbatical in Genoa, Italy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tom Brody
Very good movie. The scenes between the "ghost" mother and youngest daughter very touchingPublished 5 months ago by Unbaked Pegga
The acting is just brilliant, including the children's. Very subtle - it shows without telling you in the face. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Veronique
Disappointing. Expected a light romantic travelogue type story. Instead it was a dark depressing too long movie.Published 10 months ago by Reader
Ok too long somewhat disappointed fizzled out at end - glad no one else died but wanted more of Italy and more in romance dept as well - when in Rome -LOLPublished 10 months ago by Pandora Smith