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|Index||14 reviews in total|
Forgive me for not being one of those cinema buffs who can articulate the
many problems that they observe in films but I'm just a viewer who loves
sweet films about interesting, human topics rather than the junk shoveled
out by the big Hollywood studios. I was enchanted by this film and I love
our film industry and the products of that industry.
Our films are so believable and human-centred as opposed to the make believe product from across the Pacific. I recently watched "To be and to Have" and was captivated by it's beauty and innocence-a documentary about a rural French teacher and his class of primary kids. I mention this fabulous film because it was a member of a genre of "slice of life" films like "Loves' Brother"-I was as captivated by this beautiful Australian as I had been by the beautiful French film.
I loved looking at fifties, rural small town life; I loved watching the difficulties of young foreign born people trying to overcome problems of distance and culture and I, as opposed to others, was completely taken by the huge difficulties of connecting. I know, in the dying years of last century, people who endured not dissimilar marriage situations. I thought the film was exceedingly sensitively worked and I have no complaints about the movie in any way.
If you enjoy the genre of human development then this fabulous little film is for you. Take it as it is-don't read your own values into a time and place far removed from today.
There's a first time for everything, including directing a movie, and
accomplished Australian scriptwriter (`Shine') Jan Sardi has not disgraced
himself here. The plotline is corny (wrong brother's photo sent in marriage
broking operation) and the approach stickily sentimental but things are
saved by some good casting, quality acting and fine cinematography.
As Angelo, the shyer brother who is looking for a bride from Italy, Giovanni Ribisi (last seen as the doltish husband in `Lost in Translation') combines the intensity of B A Santamaria with a remarkable amount of diffidence. Adam Garcia, hitherto mainly a song and dance man, plays the less screwed up younger brother Gino with abundant artless charm, and they combine very well to give us a picture of two very different but very devoted people. Rosetta the mail order bride, (Amelia Warner) is very beautiful and doesn't say a great deal which adds to her charm of course. There are also some strong performances from supporting players. Silvia de Santis, hair dyed blonde, is very effective as Gino's girlfriend Connie, and John Bluthal does an Italian version of his loveable old man persona. Eleanor Bron has a brief role as the marriage broker no more improbable than an Italian siren from Liverpool (where Amelia Warner hails from). It was also worth the price of admission to see Barry Otto as a Catholic Priest blessing a newly installed espresso machine.
Andrew Lesnie, responsible for the cinematography in the Lord of the Rings series, gives us one or two unusual camera angles, but by and large keeps things very pretty. He apparently looked at `Il Postino' to get some pointers on how to shoot an `Italian' movie. (That film was actually directed by an Englishman, Michael Radford.) Daylesford, Victoria, and its surrounds are shown to their advantage, certainly more so than the Italian village used for Rosetta's home town. The Italians shown here who migrated to Australia are a jolly lot; most of them seem to think Australia is heaven compared to Italy. The film is set circa 1958 but even 40 years later it looks like they made the right decision. They certainly did wonders for Australian coffee drinking.
Okay. I have set myself to write a review on all of Giovanni Ribisi's
movies, so here goes.
I don't think this is his best movie, nor his best acting. But the fact that he puts a lot into looking like a shy, not-that-good-looking-guy (even though he is), means he's committed to his roles. His accent and histrionics are just amazing, too.
The story is actually pretty original, but for some reason I perceive it as cliché or too corny. I don't know why. If I were to write this story again, I would have to think hard on what I'd change because like I said, the story is really nice and also, the characters are so cute that you care for each and every one of them as well as identify with them.
This film is so bad - dialogues, story, actors and actresses - everything! - that it's hard to imagine that we'll see a worse movie this year or in the following years. "Love's Brother" (set in Australia among Italian immigrants) has nothing but shallow clichés about Italian culture to offer, and it is quite telling that even the Italians from and in Italy speak ENGLISH in the film. The message of the film - ugly people have to marry ugly people, beautiful people have to marry beautiful people - is truly discomforting. Giovanni Ribisi is quite good in films like 'Suburbia' or 'Lost in Translation', but here his pseudo-Italian accent is hard to bear. See this film at your own risk. Trash as trash can!
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