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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Genova

From the outset, Genova makes no apologies for being difficult. The film opens with the death of Barbara (Catherine Keener), wife of Joe (Colin Firth) and mother of 16 year-old Kelly (Willa Holland) and young Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine) in a horrific car accident. Unable to face the idea of simply getting on with life in […]
By Millie Stein
October 16, 2009
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Genova

From the outset, Genova makes no apologies for being difficult. The film opens with the death of Barbara (Catherine Keener), wife of Joe (Colin Firth) and mother of 16 year-old Kelly (Willa Holland) and young Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine) in a horrific car accident. Unable to face the idea of simply getting on with life in […]
By Millie Stein
October 16, 2009
  shares

From the outset, Genova makes no apologies for being difficult. The film opens with the death of Barbara (Catherine Keener), wife of Joe (Colin Firth) and mother of 16 year-old Kelly (Willa Holland) and young Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine) in a horrific car accident.

Unable to face the idea of simply getting on with life in Chicago, Joe moves himself and his daughters to the North Italian city of Genova (Genoa in English). Once there, life regains some semblance of normalcy for Joe, who takes a position at the local university, and Kelly, who befriends and beguiles some local boys. Things are less functional for Mary, who struggles to deal with her guilt over the death of her mother and her increasingly frequent hallucinations.

Much has been written about Genova as a noir film. Part of this must be because the film’s most tenuous moments occur when nothing happens. Director Michael Winterbottom creates high tension in places of natural risk: the ocean, the narrow city streets, the seaside cliffs and wilderness. Death and cataclysm seem to loom just outside of the frame, never actualizing, but wielding a claustrophobic force all the same.

If this makes Genova sound disturbing, that’s because it is â€" but it also stays with you for all the right reasons. Nothing is overplayed for effect; the city and the characters are allowed to stand on their own and contribute to the story what they will.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=oUMzWOPDBok

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