Boy's quest to find his mother reflects the world's truths

Review B+

May 18, 2007|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic

Russian director Andrei Kravchuk clearly has read his Dickens and watched his De Sica. His new film, The Italian (Italianetz), opening today at the Charles, draws equally on Oliver Twist and The Bicycle Thief in its depiction of a world where expediency trumps morality and where what's real is made bearable only by what could be.

Six-year-old Vanya (a remarkably composed Kolya Spiridonov) is warehoused in a Russian orphanage, brought out and gussied up periodically in hopes that some wealthy foreign family will adopt him. Luck seems to shine on him when a respectable Italian family agrees to do just that. His fellow orphans, some happy for him, others envious of his good luck, start calling him "the Italian."

The Italian (Sony Pictures Classics) Starring Kolya Spiridonov, Maria Kuznetsova. Directed by Andrei Kravchuk. Rated PG-13. Time 96 minutes.

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