Review: ‘Good Morning Aman’

A dynamic Somali immigrant bonds with an Italian loner with anger-management issues.

It’s hardly worth getting out of bed for “Good Morning Aman,” tyro helmer Claudio Noce’s film about a dynamic Somali immigrant who bonds with an Italian loner with anger-management issues. Cooked up by no fewer than four writers (including the director), this tale has trouble deciding whether it wants to be a social-issue drama, a closeted love story, a portrait of depression and missed opportunities, or something else altogether. Pic’s only wake-up calls will come from local niche play and Italo film weeks.

Enterprising Somali Aman (Said Sabrie, who has appeared in Noce’s short films) washes cars but would have the talent to sell them. One night, he unexpectedly bonds with Teodoro (Valerio Mastandrea), a withdrawn ex-boxer who spouts racist remarks to hide what might be a heart of gold. The lack of info on Teodoro’s past and motives until late in the game proves annoying rather than suspenseful, and Aman’s pursuit of an equally troubled woman (Anita Caprioli) adds little. The loud, heterogeneous soundtrack and overly slick, rarely stationary widescreen lensing will have most auds K.O.’d before the over-the-top finale delivers the final punch. Actors are OK.

Good Morning Aman

Italy

Production

A Cinecitta Luce release of a DNA Cinematografia production, in association with Rai Cinema, with the participation of Relief. (International sales: Cinecitta Luce, Rome.) Produced by Dodo Fiori. Executive producer, Linda Vianello, Angelo Russo Russelli. Directed by Claudio Noce. Screenplay, Diego Ribon, Elisa Amoruso, Heidrun Schleff, Noce, based on a story by Ribon, Amoruso, Noce.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Michele D'Attanasio; editor, Andrea Maguolo; music, Valerio Vigliar; production designer, Paki Meduri; costume designer, Veronica Fragola. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Critics' Week), Sept. 5, 2009. Italian, Somali dialogue. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Valerio Mastandrea, Said Sabrie, Anita Caprioli, Amin Nur, Giordano De Plano, Adamo Dionisi, Sandra Toffolati.
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