In this tale of a boy's conflict with his father, mother and sister, di Robilant paints a picture of an Italian reality not often shown or considered in Italian films. As a result the film seems more British than Italian, with a kind of stiff upper lip emotional perspective, but the movie is both moving and interesting nonetheless. Mainly ignored when released except for some festival acceptance and awards, the film was highly under-rated, and showed both di Robilant's skills as a film-maker and a view of modern Italian life that that was both cynical and realistic. The family at the center of the story is dysfunctional - the mother is into Eastern mysticism, the father (played sternly by Bauchaut) selfish and proud; the sister, the apparent ally of the young troubled boy, turns out to be confused about her own life and of no use to her brother in the end. Sent to boarding school, the boy's life there is amusing, lonely and well drawn, and the film does a good job getting into the mind and heart of the rebellious, confused boy. The music, a score composed by Bruno Moretti, is catchy, charming and evocative. The photography and production design are elegant and true to life, in spite of a very low budget which is not at all noticeable. If you can get your hands on this film somehow, it's worth the watch. And look out for other films by this talented director.
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