Review: ‘Stelle Di Cartone’

Reviewed at Sorrento Festival, Italy (competing), Dec. 11, 1993. Running time: 90 MIN.

Reviewed at Sorrento Festival, Italy (competing), Dec. 11, 1993. Running time: 90 MIN.

Stephanie … Francesca De Rose

Marco … Massimiliano Franciosa

Elena … Federica Mastroianni

Arturo …Angela Sorino

Fra Gustavo … Daniele Formica

Sergio … Mattia Sbragia

Small-town inertia weighs heavily on the 20-ish protagonists of “Cardboard Stars,” a gentle reflection on the dreams and ambitions of middle-class youth in the Italian provinces. Unassuming charm, appealing performers and restrained use of splendid Spoleto locations should ensure Euro tube sales for Francesco Anzalone’s first feature.

Two Blues Brothers-fixated chums, Marco (Massimiliano Franciosa) and Arturo (Angelo Sorino), co-host a latenight regional radio show which reps the only spark of achievement in their humdrum lives. Parents and other older-generation locals seem as archaically Etruscan to them as the town’s forefathers. When their boss (Mattia Sbragia) tries squeezing their talents for questionable ends, they quit and are forced to confront a basically empty future. Arturo checks out with a homeward-bound Californian (Francesca De Rose), while Marco makes an unwitting transition to sedentary adulthood with his g.f. (Federica Mastroianni).

The pic’s male characters are much better defined than the females. Franciosa and Sorino have an easy, complementary rapport that keeps the material coasting along despite an occasional hint of blandness due largely to the script’s dearth of tangible conflicts. Well-edited effort is technically clean on all counts.

Stelle Di Cartone

(ITALIAN)

Production

A Flipper Cinematografica production. Produced by Romano Di Bari. Directed by Francesco Anzalone. Screenplay, Anzalone, Dario Bonomolo.

Crew

Camera (color), Paolo Camera; editor, Roberto Schiavone; music, Francesco De Luca; art direction, Alfonso Rastelli; costume design, Innocenza Coiro; sound, Glauco Puletti.
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