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City is real star of Brit thriller; Films.

Byline: GRAHAM YOUNG

GENOVA (15) Verdict: PARTLY inspired by Nicolas Roeg's 1973 Venetian thriller Don't Look Now with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, Michael Winterbottom shot this film mostly in Genoa, Italy.

His disarmingly casual style of cinema verite-style filmmaking draws you into the narrow city streets where teacher Joe (Colin Firth) has relocated with his two young daughters after their mother is killed in a car crash in the US.

With a friend Barbara (Catherine Keener) able to help, a remarkably sanguine Joe thinks a year abroad will do the girls' good as well as teaching them a new language.

Elder sister Kelly (16) finds herself a boyfriend, but Mary (10), who was directly responsible for the crash, keeps seeing her mother (Hope Davies) in visions.

Genova features many of Blackburn-born Winterbottom's typical traits - evocative keyboards, journeys through streets, family dislocation and burgeoning sexuality.

But the city remains the central character all along..

Genova is a good companion piece for Nanni Moretti's La Stanza del Figlio (The Son's Room), the Cannes Golden Palm Winner in 2001.

Though little happens, dramatically speaking, the scene where Mary tries to cross a road will have your heart in your mouth. At Vue Star City.

GRAHAM YOUNG

CAPTION(S):

Sanguine: Colin Firth stars in Michael Winterbottom's evocative Genova.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 3, 2009
Words:215
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