We all have to grow up... eventually. My sister Claire, however, did not agree. She was a normal kid except somehow never stopped believing in magic and fairy tales and true love, which basically made her a magnet for creeps.
[fending off a boy]
Get off me!
Yeah, ouch. Luckily, we were super popular. Except not really. I was never what you'd call a sweet child, and Claire... Claire had problems.
[childhood Claire rips the head off of doll]
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"In Search of Fellini" is not a film without flaws but due to a well-crafted sense of wonder, an obvious reverence of Fellini's work, and especially a terrific lead performance, it is able to overcome them and in the end deliver a satisfying drama.
Young Lucy has been sheltered from the world by her loving, though over-protective, mom and after her 1st job interview goes awry, she stumbles upon a Fellini film festival and falls in love with the enigmatic films. So enamored is Lucy that she travels to Italy in the hopes of meeting the legendary filmmaker, in the process getting introduced to the real world, both the bad and the good of it.
The film's writing is generally well done, though a couple aspects of the story require some suspension of disbelief. I didn't find that any of these moments too damaging however, though occasionally just a little distracting.
The visuals were excellent; From beautiful wide shots of Italy too party scenes where vivid color usage livens things up, the film was nice looking and more importantly did a great job of placing how Lucy was viewing these scenes and events onto the screen. Her sense of excitement and wonder at the beauty of the Colosseum, for instance, along with her feelings of confusion during a hectic dance scene. Very well done indeed by the first-time director Taron Lexton and his cinematographer.
I admit to not being a connoisseur of Frederico Fellini, though I have found what I have watched of his films enjoyable. The people behind "In Search of Fellini" obviously have great admiration of the late filmmaker, as their movie is chock full of references and parallels to his films. From the obvious (such as the appearance of the 'man in chains') to the subtler (Lucy's striped shirt) the love of Fellini is everywhere, and just seeing how much these filmmakers admired him adds even more charm to an already charming film.
My favorite part of the movie however was Ksenia Solo's performance as Lucy. Already a big fan of Miss Solo's previous work, I think this may be her finest performance yet. Her Lucy is naïve and shy, though occasionally rash, but also curious and the primary source of the aforementioned charm. Miss Solo delivers all of this and a wide range of emotion throughout the film, in my opinion just top-notch work. The other actors do their part too though, Maria Bello as Lucy's mother Claire and Mary Lynn Rajskub as Claire's sister both deliver good performances as well.
My main criticisms of the film are the previously mentioned parts of the story that require 'suspension of disbelief', but also the fact the film is occasionally melodramatic. There are more than a few times where some more subtlety would have been welcome.
All in all, In Search of Fellini is probably not a brilliant film, but it is certainly a good one. Wonder-filled with some dramatic punch to boot, I found it thoroughly enjoyable. 8/10.
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