|That "more" is provided by a fine cast, especially in the two leading roles. Veronica D'Agostino (left), whose first film was Respiro, brings complete conviction to her role -- strength, sadness and especially that specific impatience and sense of "right" so typical of youth -- that she pretty much single-handedly carries the movie. Watching this young and untutored girl -- lonely, scared and insistent -- is one of the most wrenching, riveting and finally heartbreaking experiences a movie has given us in some time. Her nemesis-turned-helper is the very fine Gérard Jugnot (shown below), so different here from his current role in Paris 36.|
|Amenta chooses his details wisely and economically, from the early scenes in Sicily to the moment when we learn that the tenants of the building where the investigating officer and his family reside are circulating a petition to force them from their home. Fear is everywhere and Amenta makes us feel it -- which turns the rare moment of joy and relaxation (a trip to the beach with a new boyfriend) into something special. D'Agostino's final long scene is staggering, as she turns to anyone left in her life for companionship: a simple word, even a touch. By this point in the film the girl has turned 18. Think of your own daughter in a situation like this and weep. |
When I interviewed Il Divo director Paolo Sorrentino last April, he told me that Italy has never experienced the kind of Democracy we know in other western nations. Rather it is more like a combination of what you'd find in an African dictatorship and the west. Watching the way in which the Mafia controls in The Sicilian Girl (not to mention Il Divo itself), you may better understand what he means. The Sicilian Girl screens Friday, June 5, at 6:30 and Monday, June 8, at 2.