Matt Benson, an FBI investigator, has been posted to the island of Panarea in the Lipari archipelago within the framework of an agreement between the USA and Italy. He has been allocated a comfortable, well-protected house with vast grounds and a private cove facing the Ginostra volcano. This delights his wife Jessie and their 5-year-old daughter Tina. A few days after they arrive, a 11-year-old boy, Ettore Greco, a Mafia victim, is questioned by Matt about the death of his whole family in a car bombing. For security reasons, Matt decides to bring Ettore to the house where he is living. This artificial adoption gradually reveals the tragic secret binding Matt to the child, a secret Jessie knows nothing about. From secrets to lies, the atmosphere in the villa slowly leads the Benson family to the gates of hell. Outside is the danger, inside is the fear. In between is an orphan child... Written by
Dramas over two hours in length generally fall into two camps - they either have an epic story to tell, full of deep characterisations, complex plots and stunning backdrops, or they stink. Ginostra falls with aplomb into the latter category.
Never has so little happened of such little note in such a long time. If this were not bad enough, never have actors of the calibre of Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell delivered such clunky dialogue with such haste and apparent lack of skillful direction or editing.
The likes of Osment and Radcliffe have little to worry about from Mattia De Martino, who plays the son of a chef to the mob who is his immediate family's sole survivor following a car bombing. Keitel is the FBI agent on the case and he and his wife MacDowell base themselves near the island of Ginostra, the site of the bombing, while he tries to pump the child for information.
There is some innuendo between Keitel and Francesca Neri, who plays the wife of the local officer chasing the mob, who in turn appears to fancy MacDowell. Nothing actually materialises, which is the film's major problem
it's quite miserable and very dull. Misery is not necessarily a bad
thing in itself, but with nothing else to grab hold of, it's all a bit much.
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