Combustible Celluloid
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With: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Alessio Boni, Stefania Rocca, Angela Finocchiaro, Giuseppe Battiston, Luigi Lo Cascio, Valerio Binasco, Francesca Inaudi, Lucy Akhurst, Roberto Infascelli, Simona Nasi
Written by: Giulia Calenda, Cristina Comencini, Francesca Marciano, based on a novel by Cristina Comencini
Directed by: Cristina Comencini
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, language and a brief violent image
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Running Time: 120
Date: 03/18/2013

Don't Tell (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Soap, Italian Style

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Instead of the far more successful The Best of Youth, which features some of the same actors, Cristina Comencini's La Bestia nel cuore (or, The Beast in the Heart) became the 2005 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Not long after, Lion's Gate picked up the film for U.S. distribution, but hastily re-titled it with the far less interesting Don't Tell. Despite this unremarkable beginning, Don't Tell is actually a not-bad soap opera about a woman, Sabina (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who discovers she was molested as a child. If that's not soapy enough, her two best friends are a blind lesbian (Stefania Rocca) and a sassy, fifty-something woman (Angela Finocchiaro) whose husband has left her for a young tart. Comencini clumsily tries to make an artistic connection out of the fact that Sabina dubs movies for a living, and tries way too hard to make a point, but the game performers manage to stitch together some semblance of emotional stability.

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