Review: ‘Forever Blues’

Franco Nero takes his first turn behind the camera directing "Forever Blues," a trite tale of bonding between an aging jazz trumpeter and a cute little boy who has been traumatized by domestic violence. Pic's bland poetry didn't click on its onshore release.

Italian actor Franco Nero takes his first turn behind the camera directing “Forever Blues,” a trite tale of bonding between an aging jazz trumpeter and a cute little boy who has been traumatized by domestic violence. Pic looks like an under-produced TV project; its chief attraction is the charismatic, blue-eyed Nero in the starring role, which may be enough for scattered TV sales and some children’s venues. Pic’s bland poetry didn’t click on its onshore release. The international version has been dubbed into flat American English, irritatingly in contrast with the film’s picturesque setting in Calabria.

The thesis is that friendship and music can heal the deep wounds afflicting mop-headed Marco (Daniel Piamonti), who has witnessed his violent father beating his brave, loving mother (Paola Saluzzi). When loner and misanthrope Luca (Nero) is forced to take care of Marco — a long day of fun that translates into a great deal too much screentime — the tyke comes out of his shell and blooms. Cast is uneven, with the engaging Nero and Saluzzi leading a weak clutch of supporting players. Locations around the wilds of Aspromonte give a visual boost.

Forever Blues

Italy

Production

An Istituto Luce release of a MacroMajora Films production in association with RAI Cinema/Cepu. (International sales: IntraMovies, Rome.) Produced, directed by Franco Nero. Screenplay, Lorenzo De Luca, Enrico Bernard, Nero, based on Bernard's play.

Crew

Camera (color), Giovanni Cavallini; editor, Alberto Moriani; music, Lino Patruno; production designer, Claudio Cosentino; costume designer, Danato Citro. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 23, 2006. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Franco Nero, Paola Saluzzi, Daniel Piamonti, Minnie Minoprio, Lino Patruno.
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