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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Kolya Spiridonov
Mariya Kuznetsova
Nikolai Reutov.
Directors
Andrei Kravchuk.
Screenwriters
Running Time
97 minutes

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The Italian
What the Dickens?


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Plot
An abandoned five-year-old boy living in a rundown orphanage in a small Russian village runs away to find his real mother.


Review
The Italian

Despite EVOKING THE DANK world of Dickensian melodrama, first-time director Andrei Kravchuk skilfully eschews the sentimentality that blights so many kids-in-peril stories.

Having learned that his mother may be alive, Kolya Spiridonov escapes Mariya Kuznetsova’s orphanage before she can sell him to an Italian couple, crosses Russia in the hope of a reunion and gets in a series of predictable scrapes, as Kuznetsova pursues the courageous moppet.

While the visuals are too handsome to attain a neo-realist authenticity, The Italian ably captures the post-democratic disillusionment that facilitates the older inmates’ Fagin-like criminal network.


Verdict
Despite channeling Dickensian melodrama, first-time director Andrei Kravchuk skilfully avoids wallowing in sentimentality.


Reviewed by Patrick Peters

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Average user rating for The Italian
Empire Star Rating

Somewhere between an Oliver Twist-style tale and a sober sketch of the ghastly reality of Russian orphanages. Our four stars are very generous, but Spiridonov is so good as the fragile but determined orphan that he’s bound to break your heart. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Malpertuis at 18:32, 26 March 2008 | Report This Post


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