Preview by: Jack Foley
AN ITALIAN film, about a young boy's attempt to unravel a mystery,
after he discovers that another boy is being held captive underneath
an abandoned house, is going down a storm in America, where critics
are urging people to go and see it.
I'm Not Scared is directed by acclaimed film-maker, Gabriele
Salvatores, of Mediterraneo fame, and is set in the Italian countryside,
Giuseppe Cristiano stars as 10-year-old Michele, who finds something
sinister lurking under the surface of his idyllic Summer.
While the days in his remote southern Italian village are filled
with the familiar routines of childhood, a chance discovery leads
to a shocking revelation.
Now, suddenly beyond the point-of no-return, Michele digs further
to find that even his own parents may be behind what's quickly
becoming the country's most nefarious crime.
The premise sounds intriguing enough, but the response from America
has been overwhelmingly positive.
Needless to say, based on the response it has already drawn,
we shall be keeping our eyes peeled for its UK release date.
The film was distributed, in America, through Miramax and was
written for the screen by Niccolo Ammaniti and Francesca Marciano.
Entertainment Weekly, for example, awarded it a B+ and
wrote that it 'delicately emphasizes the contrast between surface
innocence and subterranean danger'. It added that 'with a taste
for dark lyricism, the director delicately emphasizes the contrast
between surface innocence and subterranean danger, and between
grown-up secrets and boyhood bravery'.
While the New York Daily News wrote that 'the film's beauty
belies the anxiety that runs through it'.
The New York Times felt that 'although this visually dazzling
movie from Italy takes on many of the characteristics of a conventional
thriller, it refuses to go for cheap, vicious shocks'.
And the New York Post opined that 'this satisfying adaptation
of a popular novel is mostly an artistic reflection on youthful
loss of innocence'.
USA Today congratulated it for 'powerfully and palpably
capturing the isolation, confusion and unnameable fears of childhood'.
The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, wrote that 'with a graceful
confidence Salvatores has made a movie in which good and evil
flow into each other as easily as day and night'.
While Rolling Stone referred to it as 'a fierce, frightening
and deeply moving study of childhood'.
Reeling Reviews added that 'Salvatores has made a film
reminiscent of Spanish masterpiece, The Spirit of the Beehive'.
While Film Journal International concludes this round-up,
by stating that the film 'offers a startling mix of genres: a
memory piece drenched in nostalgia for a lost childhood, clothed
in the form of a thriller that grabs you by the throat'.