The world is different through the eyes of children. Everything is more mysterious, vivid, significant, and (interesting) morally certain. Exploring an abandoned farmhouse in Southern Italy, the protagonist (a fifth-grade boy) slowly discovers a reality more troubling than any nightmare. This type of story has been told many times... but there's a reason for that. We corrupt adults keep needing to hear it.
The created world is beautiful and the beginning of the film gathers big hopes for the entire process of watching. Instead towards the end it did disappoint me because of it's predictability and silliness. But it is worth watching - the cinematography is bewildering.
Gorgeous film. Stunning cinematography, beautiful score, and a great performance by the young lead make this film really stand out. The mystery/thriller aspect is secondary to the exploration of relationships between children and family, especially in times/areas of great distress. 4.5
Often times, there is a tendency to make children in film feel far too mature than they actually are. It's so refreshing to see a group of kids still being kids, even if the situation they're in is very adult. The story was executed well, and the child actors were good. Consider this a director I'm interested in.
4.5 Very fine movie. Stunning cinematography. Terrific performance from actor playing Michele. Riveting storytelling. Fascinating characters grounded in great specificity. Loved the harvesting machines and the "as ye sow, so shall ye reap" analogy. We are all scared, but some move through the fear to do the right thing.
Story is rolled out with impeccable clarity and vision. This film captures both disillusionment, innocence, and love. Watch this one, it is unforgettable in sharing its enduring message. Evocative imagery together with musical motion that capture youthful exhuberance
"This modest film's most brilliant stroke lies in the boys' dawning realization that while they're ostensibly divided by many things - social class, parenthood, region - they're connected by the possibilities of joy, hungers of youth, power of imagination. The contaminations of adult life confront the fleeting wonder of childhood. It's a film full of striking images and subtle rewards." Bill Gallo, Altweeklies 3.5