Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (10)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (6)
Whether director Gianni Amelio is aiming for emotional effect or social commentary, his fuzzy detours into melodrama land well off the mark.
After a more-or-less ten-year absence from Italy and its concerns, Amelio has returned to reflect on the damage caused by the repeated concussions of the Berlusconi era.
Digressions involving suicide, child abuse, immigration and unions muddy the film's meaning rather than illuminate it.
If fuzzy thematic thrust doesn't bug you ... the essence of Albanese as a shrugging everyman for post-debt-crisis Europe may be its own reward.
The idea of an outwardly content Everyman acting as a temporary worker in hundreds of different jobs is an appealing one, yet Amelio can't sustain the concept, and characters meant to deepen themes wind up unsatisfactorily cluttering things up.
One waits uneasily for the story to turn dark, but instead the film just runs out of energy in its second half.
L'intrepido reveals the same strengths and weaknesses as his work two decades ago-an appealing sincerity and social awareness, dogged by a mile-wide sentimental streak.
More concerned with re-enforcing its arguments than using them to move ahead, the film, just like its hero, seems quite pleased to stay in one place all through.
Gianni Amelio bogs down into a family drama that's neither supplementary to the film's initial quest or a fulfilling substitute.
A stinging and sobering portrait of the struggle for subsistence and dignity in the face of economic despair, while laced with muted comedic charm. And a cautionary triumph steeped in magical realism, melding political reality and personal human pain.
One of a marvellous crop of Italian films issuing over the last year or so, in which the Italian instinct, nous and knowledge of the human being are woven beautifully into stories of poignancy, realism and humour. Even when life is terrible. And amidst the dreadful harshness of modern, big cities, individual people lead heroic lives. This film is about leaving your assumptions behind and being open. Reminiscent of Being There, it is also like an achingly beautiful renaissance canvas of both suffering and enlightenment. If only the powers that run this world were more like this compassionate, fearless, intelligent man.
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