Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Girl By the Lake |
Actors: Toni Servillo, Valeria Golino, Fabrizio Gifuni, Omero Antonutti
Director: Andrea Molaioli
Genres: Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
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(3.5 STARS) Well-Made Italian Crime Drama
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 08/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 2007 Italian film "The Girl by the Lake" ("La ragazza del lago") is a mystery drama based on a book by Norwegian crime fiction writer Karin Fossum. I know nothing about the author and her books, but the filmed adaptation reminded me of P. D. James crime novels, in which understanding the complicated human relations within a closed community often plays a significant role in solving the seemingly unusual case.
The film's story revolves around a murder of a young girl that happens in a small provincial town in mountainous North Italy, and a veteran police detective sent from a nearby town to investigate the case. As I said, the film is also about the ordinary people living in the small community and the relations between them which they think they know well enough.
Director Andrea Molaioli (feature film debut) keeps a good pace throughout the film (that runs only 95 minutes), which may look like an extended episode of a US/British TV series to some viewers because of its straightforward approach to the material. Don't expect a big surprise here. In a sense, as the title suggests, "The Girl by the Lake" is not about the crime, but about the secrets of the victim and the people surrounding her.
I was a little disappointed with the too convenient conclusion, but still I was impressed with the unanimously good acting from the talented cast. On the IMDb website the name of Valeria Golino is listed at the top of the cast, but she actually appears as a cameo. The real star is Toni Servillo playing the seasoned investigator, who must cope with his personal issues during the investigations, and probably, also the beautiful landscapes of the small town captured by the cinematographer Ramiro Civita."
La regazza...It's So Sad
Rev. E. A. Hernandez | 03/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly, this is a lovely film, shot at a town whose name I cannot discover but I know is in northeastern Italy, the Alps, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Here they speak a wonderfully melodious Italian that is closer to the Swiss Friuli dialect, which in turn sounds a lot like Spanish.
Inspector Giovanni Sanzio, thoroughly based on Norwegian author Karin Fossum's Inspector Konrad Sejer, is on the case in this adaptation of Fossum's Sejer novel "Don't Look Back". As Fossum describes Insp. Sejer, Insp. Sanzio is decent, loves his job and has awesome powers of visualization in solving crimes. Few foreign adaptations of Fossum's globally popular novels exist--this film may be the only true-to-form foreign adaptation. I wonder how much Fossum herself made on this film.
Antonio Servillo, who looks like Keenan Wynn, is superb as Insp. Sanzio. When a teen girl is found dead by the lakeside, Sanzio is called in to investigate. Along the way, he carefully roots up the town's secrets, though in actuality there are only a few people involved in any secrets whatsoever...unlike the earlier Norwegian film "Bloody Angels", in which the whole town was involved. (By the way, "Bloody Angels" was not an adaptation or film version of Fossum's, but the inspector and the plot of "Angels" is based on her Inspector Sejer mysteries.)
Here, the viewer will enjoy refreshing and beautiful scenery of a part of Italy we rarely see, and will thrill to the laid-back European-style homicide investigation that is so evident in the Norwegian and Swedish books/films. Insp. Sanzio digs up more than he cares to in this film, and the mystery unfolds well. A few droopy moments and silly red herrings will drive you up the wall, but not for long, so endure it. A good murder needs solving!
What surprises me is the failure to recognize Roberto Begnini's beautiful wife in a cameo appearance here, but oh well. I leave it to the viewer to watch for her. I also leave it to my faithful readers to try and get this film, which for some reason is unavailable in North America.
I think I'll go bootlegging for this--it's worth it."