A man moves his two daughters to Italy after their mother dies in a car accident, in order to revitalize their lives. Genova changes all three of them as the youngest daughter starts to see the ghost of her mother, while the older one discovers her sexuality.
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How do children respond to tragedy? On an icy road near Chicago, Marianne dies in a crash, leaving Joe and their daughters, Kelly, about 16, and Mary, about 9. That summer, a friend from Joe's graduate student days, 20 years before, arranges a teaching job for him in Genoa. When they arrive in June, Joe starts teaching and the girls have the summer before school starts: Kelly quickly falls in with youths her age; their club and beach life leads to sexual awakening. Mary, burdened by guilt for her mother's death, is solitary. The girls take piano lessons, Mary draws, and she also sees and talks to her mother. Joe asks them, "Are you okay?", but is that enough?Written by
The piece of music Kelly plays on the piano for her father and Barbara is "Étude no. 3 in E major, Op. 10, no. 3 - Tristesse" by Frédéric Chopin. See more »
On their way from the airport, when they pass in the car in front of a fresco of Saint George fighting against the dragon, Ms. Keener says that Saint George is the Saint Patron of Genova. Now, it's true that Saint George has a strong link to the history of the city: the banner bears the cross of Saint George, in the middle ages the Bank which funded expeditions overseas (by the way it's the building that shows the fresco seen in the movie) was named after Saint George etc. but the Patron of Genova, since XIII century, is John the Baptist and he came to be after Genoese crusaders (First crusade) brought back from Holy Land his ashes, which are still kept in the Cathedral. See more »
Just some words of warning about foreign directors shooting in your city
When I first heard about this movie I got very excited: it doesn't happen every day to have a little city like Genova featuring in an international production, and, as a resident of this very city, I felt the right to boast a slight sense of revenge against other, more celebrated, Italian cities (to put things in perspective, Genova is often overlooked by Italian medias and by the powers that be, despite having the second biggest and busiest harbour in Europe). This until I actually managed to watch the movie. Just to avoid this post to become an unmitigated rant, I have to say that the movie itself it's not half bad...but when you name your work after a city, you're at least expected to have a faint grasp on what the whole place is about. Instead we get a trite bunch of clichés about Italy: tanned guys teasing young girls while zooming along on mopeds - people here, both old and young,barely acknowledge your presence until you bump into them - ...then the same guys roaming through the city in a huge, motorcycle-mounted pack... - never seen anything like that -...and then a little bit more of the same guys goofing on the beach... It looks like the director had spent three months in Rome or Naples before he decided to have a slightly left field take on it and to choose a less renowned city as a setting for his work, maybe to appeal to the more "indie"-oriented part of the audience. Pity he didn't manage to get anything out of the place's soul: some really awful Italians B-movies from the 70s give you a fairer rendition of the city than this movie could ever dream of. Anyway, I wouldn't be so riled about that if it wasn't for the director waxing lyrical, in interviews with local newspapers, about how much he loved the city and how he succeeded in transposing its heart and soul on the screen. Again, not a bad a film, but you could have it called with any generic Mediterranean city name and nobody would notice!
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