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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful and very 'Gilliam'

8/10
Author: nickolas-devito from United States
28 May 2011

About half a year ago, Terry Gilliam started shooting in Naples. The little boy Jake in the film was played by a child who went to the same school as me in Rome. Because I knew him, I was able to snag a DVD copy of the film when it was released.

When a troubled family of three take a vacation to Naples, it will take the efforts of the Pulcinella to show the family just how special they really are.

The main actors all do a fine job in portraying a family that has been torn apart, but the supporting actors shine as the inhabitants of Naples. The abundance of actors familiar with their location all help it to be more believable. Obviously the real star is Terry Gilliam, and this short if full of his trademark wide-angle shots, surreal visuals, and dark humor. Not all of it is to be taken seriously, but certain images presented in this film are sure to leave an impression. The scene where the Pulcinella carry Jake on the bridge cutting into the sea is something I probably won't forget any time soon.

Overall, if you ever manage to find a copy of this short film, I highly recommend giving it a view. It's very entertaining, and might be the best short film Gilliam has ever directed. I give it four Ben 10 action figures out of five.

(Keep an eye out for two small baby-masks from Brazil during the baby doll scene).

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One of Gilliam's weakest most likely

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
17 March 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Wholly Family" is an American short film from 2011, so this one had its 5th anniversary last year. It runs for 20 minutes almost and is mostly known because of the director being Terry Gilliam. I am sure without this name attached to the project the movie would be really unknown now as it's truly not a great achievement. I think it starts off okay, but when we realize the son is the protagonist of the entire story, it becomes bland and boring fairly quickly. He was just entirely forgettable as an actor as well as as a character I must say. The parents were definitely very interesting. Yes there was a moment here and there that had this Gilliam feel to it, like the big restaurant table for example, but you really have to be a huge Gilliam fan to be honest I think in order to appreciate this fantastic (only in terms of genre) tale of an Italian family in America. Food certainly plays a major role in here, but also this component did not deliver as much as it could have. I did not hungry at least. So yeah, like I said I would not recommend this to anybody who isn't a huge (and with that I mean really huge) Terry Gilliam fan. I personally was glad that it ended so quickly as I never managed to develop a particular interest in the story and characters the way it was told.

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