A sluggish procedural on what it was like to make the journey to Ellis Island back in the day.
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What makes Mr. Crialese's telling unusual, apart from the gorgeousness of his wide-screen compositions, is that his emphasis is on departure and transition, rather than arrival.
The greatness of Golden Door is its tone; sympathetic but always wry.
The movie never really comes alive, and Crialese's coyness with Lucy's character is more frustrating than mysterious.
After countless films in which immigration plays a central role -- one of the earliest was Charlie Chaplin's 1917 silent classic "The Immigrant" while one of the best, Jan Troell's "The Emigrants," has never migrated to DVD -- you'd think the canon was essentially complete. Yet this visionary work adds to it by combining harsh realities with magic-realist fantasies.
Sicilian-born filmmaker Emanuele Crialese takes a huge leap forward from his pretty but simplistic "Respiro" with this highly original, startlingly beautiful and emotionally resonant film.
Draggy Italian epic that's big on production values but skimpy on inspiration.
The acting is superb, especially the always alluring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a mysterious Englishwoman taking the ship to America. Agnes Godard's lensing is painterly, and Crialese's direction is seamless.