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
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Julie McCullough
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Judge Padovani
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Isabella Flores
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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
...
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

 
Is this based on a true story?
5 May 2004 | by (Torbay England) – See all my reviews

I'm sure I remember the case of the teenage fire-starter but was it necessary to sanitize the storyline with so much obvious fiction and lack of attention to the central role.

While the acting from Mark Strong and Francis Barber as the defence and prosecution lawyers in this British made thriller were adequate, I frequently felt I was watching a low budget movie stretched by obvious financial constraints that severely held back the potential this movie could have achieved.

I normally like Sienna Guillory who 'played down' several years to portray a nervously troubled teenager who has a complex association with fires., but this time around I wasn't convinced. Playing Julia McCullough a sensuous teenager with a limited education and the inept ability to grasp what appears to be happening around her, Sienna is a 19 year English Nanny who is subconciously obsessed with the fire that killed her mother four years previous and the blame she apportions herself with her mother's death. She moves to Italy and works as a Nanny for a middle aged couple with a small son. Unreasonable attention from the menopausal husband towards Julia which is never properly explored causes anxious concern with the once troubled teenager and fires mysteriously start in the family home, the second of which kills the baby and Sienna Guillory's character is accused of murder and arson. After a bumpy start with a totally token sex scene between consenting adults, namely the Italian couple, the film shifts into a courtroom drama with a series of flashbacks and weird links that pull the various characters together. At times Sienna Guillory's acting as the irritating Julia McCullough could be construed as wooden, the pregnant pauses and definitive passion loss when passion was most needed are blatantly ineffective. While Strong and Barber played the whole scenario like another well rehearsed British TV play with predictable effect the rest of the cast were strangely bewildered for the best part looking like they had turned up for two or three totally different productions. In fairness Guillory does on a few occasions attempt to rise above the mundane script by attempting to characterise her role, only to fall back again in the following scene. The sultry pout and little girl lost routine just kept coming back which stripped the potential this character was crying out to offer. Maybe it was all about the script, hard for an actor to act when there isn't a part to play. Having seen Sienna play well in other films, maybe it was all about the direction.

How the once most desirable Femme Fatale Charlotte Rampling has lasted and in her her early 60's still looks so wonderful defies logic and in a role void of make up too, but as a 'Shrink' who doubles as a 'Mother Superior' wearing designer lingerie under a frumpy cardigan was all to US TV for me. Recruited to support the defending lawyer in figuring out how 'Julia' ticked the sexy Francophile lacked her normal presence. I was itching for a burst of Ms Rampling topless in a Nazi uniform and a pair of trouser braces covering her latter day modesty, even if it meant enduring another flashback.

Window dressing with one time audience pulling actors which also included a cameo role by the normally excellent David Warner suggested the Producers needed names to prop up a film they didn't really have much faith in. Frequently confusing, the photography suffered from an overdose of soft focus, too many flashbacks and and not enough of the slow lingering close ups needed to establish the troubled mind and supernaturally vexed soul of Julia Too many times I had to ask myself was I really watching a paranormal extravaganza or a subliminal PR exercise for the Italian Lakes. as the photography and locations kept drifting away.

If a story is good and you secure a great scriptwriter, a brilliant director will follow. Unfortunately this film had none of these ingredients. Budgets would have been better spent exploring the reasons behind the complexity of the central role. Having a little more faith in Sienna Guillory's emotional potential would have made this film a lot better for everyone, actors included.

Best bits: Sienna Guillory's pout (in small doses) The first time I have seen a Red Double Decker Bus driving down an English Country Lane in 40 years.

Worst Bits: The screenplay.


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