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Gomorrah (2008)

Directed by Matteo Garrone

Gianfelice Imparato, Salvatore Abruzzese, Toni Servillo

Matteo Garrone received numerous nominations and accolades for Gomorrah, this 2008 drama based on current day Italy. The story is based on a book of the same name, written by Roberto Saviano. The film stars Italian actors Gianfelice Imparato, Salvatore Abruzzese, and Toni Servillo. Part of the Criterion Collection, this movie was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 2009 Golden Globes. In the Italian Golden Globes it won Best Picture.

This film is a fictional look at modern-day mafia families in Italy. The movie focuses on four main stories that weave through the film and come together at the climax. There’s the young boy looking for role models (Abruzzese) who walks into a world he doesn’t fully understand. There is a frightened money man (Imparato) who is seeking a way to escape the life. There are teens caught up in the rush of a life of crime. A young business man, with aspirations of being better than his father, is forced to choose what his life will be. All of these people are part of a seedy underworld that is ruthless and unforgiving. As their stories converge they meet the consequences of their actions, each reaping their own rewards.

This was a deeper and more interesting film than I expected. The stories develop nicely and when they start to weave themselves together they become parts of one great tale. Director Matteo Garrone does a wonderful job bringing the best out of the cast and even subtitles don’t take away from the dramatic moments. Visually the movie is also great, with camera work that seems to adapt to the mood of each scene.

The fact that this is a subtitled film never seemed to cross my mind as I became engrossed in the story. The world the movie creates is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The Italian culture is anything but stereotypical. The visual and audio aspects of the film are impressive as well. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys foreign language films or is willing to try. I give this film 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 137 minutes

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