Silvio Muccino explores Another World
by Gabriele Barcaro
Twenty-eight year-old Andrea (Silvio Muccino) has a wealthy and aloof mother (Greta Scacchi) who finances his aimless life; a girlfriend, Livia (Isabella Ragonese), with eating disorders; and a best friend (Flavio Parenti) who’s even more of a slacker than he is.
Andrea lives a carefree life until a letter arrives on his birthday from his father, who wants Andrea at his deathbed, in Kenya.
Andrea sets out for Nairobi not of our love but to tell his father off, but by the time he arrives his father is already in a coma and dies shortly thereafter. Leaving behind a “surprise”: Andrea’s eight-year-old half-brother Charlie (Michael Rainey Jr). Andrea tries to leave the boy with his maternal grandfather, who curses him. The only option is to take Charlie to Italy where, however, his familial and social integration proves to be anything but simple.
An adaptation of the Carla Vangelista novel, Another World [+see also:
film profile] is Muccino’s sophomore directorial effort, “an About a Boy in the Obama era” sorretto by the same formal perizia that characterized his previous film, Parlami d’amore [+see also:
film profile]. Despite a few stereotypes too many (the icy Scacchi, the immature friend) this story aims to “warm viewers’ hearts”. And it does so fairly often, thanks above all to the natural talents of the young Rainey. “I found a male Dakota Fanning”, says Muccino. “When acting with him I left the door open for improvisation, for life. I was more of a supporter than protagonist”.
Like with Muccino’s previous film, this too is a coming-of-age tale. “Once again I talk about a young man’s fears of growing up,” he says, “and the women that will help him get to know himself.” Besides his mother and Livia, there is also a volunteer working in a Kenyan shantytown, played by Maya Sansa, who utters the film’s moral: “Things never change. We change.”
(Translated from Italian)
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