The Keys to the House 2004
Le chiavi di casa (original title)
PG | 1h 45min | Drama | 27 October 2005 (Hungary)
Meeting his handicapped son for the first time, a young father attempts to forge a relationship with the teenager.
This is the first Amelio movie to be released in the US, at least in a Film Festival setting, in over ten years since Lamerica. But the director’s style is still memorable. The camera scans slowly the lost faces of the actors without pity or shame. There is no plastic, no trinkets, no nudging at the spectator. We are there watching and not, it’s not really as straightforward as we’d want it.
As in “Stolen Children” or “Lamerica”, the main character ambles on scene, uncertain of his role in the life of others or just very mistaken. It learns–maybe, the hard way, one feeling at the time. Kim Rossi Stuart takes the place of Enrico Lo Verso, with a similar style, eyes lost and the silence prevailing over revelatory dialog, but the star is his son in the movie, Andrea Rossi There are no cheap shot. There is no need to. Piety, compassion come from something deeper, and Amelio definitely gets to the grittier level of human emotion. Charlotte Rampling has an amazing role, as the mother of young handicapped woman and the symbolic chorus for the interior dialog of the protagonist. And the dialog is pure and scary as it can be.
It’s refreshing to see such moving work that skillfully avoids all the traps of classic Hollywood tearjerkers. The movie reminded me rather of Kenzaburo Oe’s “Teach Us to Outgrow our Madness”, but it’s actually inspired to Giuseppe Pontiggia’s “Nati due Volte” (Born Twice), and Amelio pays homage both to the writer and the book in the course of the movie.
Director: Gianni Amelio
Writers: Gianni Amelio (story and screenplay), Sandro Petraglia (story and screenplay)
Stars: Kim Rossi Stuart, Andrea Rossi, Charlotte Rampling
Country: Italy | Germany | France
Language: Italian | German | French | English
Release Date: 27 October 2005 (Hungary)
Also Known As: The Keys to the House
Filming Locations: Berlin, Germany