19 year old babysitter aupair Julie is accused of murder when the bed of the sheltered baby inflames. Is seems as if Julie possesses rare telepathic skills, that she cannot control. Her ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Antonio Gabrieli
...
Julie McCullough
...
Judge Padovani
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Isabella Flores
...
Mirella Cenci
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Allessandro Censi
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Frances Matteo
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Roberto Fallaci
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Vassi
Wendy Veldhuis ...
Sarah Gabrieli
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Minister of Justice
Matyelok Gibbs ...
Grandmother Cenci
Frank Ogilvie ...
Usher
Rachel Bell ...
Forewoman of the Jury
Tanya Ronder ...
Cellmate
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Storyline

19 year old babysitter aupair Julie is accused of murder when the bed of the sheltered baby inflames. Is seems as if Julie possesses rare telepathic skills, that she cannot control. Her young lawyer fights for her in court and against the public opinion in Italy, who take her for a witch. Written by Moritz Muehlenhoff <jmm@inutil.org>

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baby | lawyer | handcuffed | guilt | alley | See All (38) »


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Release Date:

13 October 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Noita  »

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During its limited theatrical release in the Netherlands the film managed to attract only 20 paying visitors. See more »

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User Reviews

Patchy, inconsistent and inconclusive
27 October 2004 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

The only good thing about this film is the presence of well known acting legends like Charlotte Rampling and less famous actors whose average to good talents cannot rescue a rather poor script. The whole thing feels more like an afternoon TV series than a proper film. The plot is messy and inconclusive. Fires happen around the girl - we are given different suggestions on how to interpret that, but none of those are actually explored at all. Is it deliberate arson, was she acting out of jealousy, was it paranormal activity, or was she in denial? We don't know. The contradictory conclusion of the trial doesn't explain a thing either.

Another thing that doesn't get any sort of proper development is the relationship between the girl and her lawyer. It seems clear a mutual attraction is developing, and the flashbacks (definitely far too many!) he is having of his deceased wife suggest he is struggling to let go of his grief and start a new life, possibly with the girl he is defending, but that's only hinted at very weakly. While Mark Strong manages to add some personality to the lawyer character, the lukewarm performance by the actress playing the girl doesn't give any real clues about her feelings for him. The hints of romance could have turned out all the better for being underplayed, but the acting is not convincing enough even for that.

Finally, the inconsistencies in the plot. I don't expect a lot of realism from a story that exploits some undefined "paranormal" occurrences, but the film can't make up its mind between a pragmatic and a supernatural interpretation. Again, that ambiguity could have been a winning factor, if it had been real, purposeful ambiguity rather than flaws in the plot and character development. During the trial, a dubious expert on the paranormal is brought in to try and support a "fires start around her because she's upset" line of defense that incidentally leads nowhere. How likely is it that any court would accept that as a valid testimony? Charlotte Rampling's character, the nun who was introduced as psychiatrist (why? it's never explained), seems to have no precise role in the story either, except as improvised grief counselor for the defending lawyer.

Even more glaringly inconsistent bits: in Italy a case for murder would never have a trial by jury. The most hilarious logic-defying bit has to be the shot of a double-decker red bus in the English countryside.

This film is a half-baked production that can't even properly explore its main theme - the supersitions about witchcraft could have been brought in a lot more forcefully, whether to debunk them or reinforce them or leave a well-crafted ambiguity, but the script doesn't do any of that, it just starts down all of those paths at the same time without convincingly following any of them. It's a pity, because the original real story this is based on was definitely fascinating material.


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