Scott Marks noon, Aug. 25
Written and directed by Emanuele Crialese, this is a film that really and truly does its subject — the historical immigrant journey — from beginning to end, bottom to top, forwards and backwards, rustic Sicily to Ellis Island. It does it with taste, with telling detail, and with artistic vision, such that the elemental material is made fresh again: the solid mass of people suddenly divided by water, a sort of parting of the Red Sea of Humanity, as the boat pulls away from the dock, leaving half the mass ashore; the storm at sea staged exclusively below deck, without today’s compulsory crutch of Perfect Storm computer software; the postcard exaggerations of giant vegetables, taken into the foreigners’ imaginations and fantasies as literal truth of the new Promised Land. In short, it’s a film that is really and truly directed, though never ostentatiously or self-indulgently. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vincenzo Amato, Aurora Quattrocchi. 2006.