×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shooting the Moon

Shooting the Moon," an unblinking examination of a young teenager forced to make adult decisions, is an accessible Italo film that should perform decently in Euro arthouses and has a shot at specialized distribution elsewhere.

With:
Silvia ..... Valeria Golino Massimo ..... Sergio Rubini Roberto ..... Stefano Dionisi Siddhartha ..... Niccolo Senni Domitilla ..... Francesca di Giovanni Psychologist ..... Maria Consagra Toni ..... Giuseppe del Bono Doctor ..... Raffaella Lebboroni Flavia ..... Serena Scapagnini

Shooting the Moon,” an unblinking examination of a young teenager forced to make adult decisions, is an accessible Italo film that should perform decently in Euro arthouses and has a shot at specialized distribution elsewhere.

Set in Rome, pic homes in on a 14-year-old boy named Siddhartha, played with rare sensitivity and skill by Niccolo Senni. Apart from the burden of his name, Siddhartha is saddled with a hopelessly unreliable mother, and he’s been forced to grow up fast. His mom, Silvia (Valeria Golino in a solid performance), is a heroin addict; Siddhartha’s video filmmaker father, Massimo (a convincing Sergio Rubini), left them years earlier, though he often drops by. Since the marriage broke up, Silvia has had a relationship with a yuppie lawyer, Roberto (Stefano Dionisi), resulting in little Domitilla (Francesca di Giovanni), now 4 years old.

Domitilla usually lives with her father, but he occasionally, reluctantly, lets her stay with Silvia and Siddhartha. The boy adores his little half-sister and is fiercely protective of her. He’s faced with an agonizing decision when the little girl, rummaging through her mother’s things, pricks herself on a used needle.

Unwilling to seek help and advice from his father or from Roberto (he fears, probably correctly, that the latter won’t let Domitilla come to stay again if he finds out what’s happened), he turns to the Internet for information. Siddhartha is advised to have the little girl tested for AIDS and various forms of hepatitis— not so easy to do if you’re not an adult, as he soon discovers when faced with sympathetic but unhelpful medical bureaucrats.

The picture, whose original title translates as “The Pear Tree,” sympathetically and unsentimentally explores the teen’s plight and his increasingly desperate attempts to get help for his little sister without letting the adults in his life in on the secret. Writer-director Francesca Archibugi pulls no punches in exploring the plight of this determined, likable and frustrated youngster against the background of a soulless modern city.

Pristine production values, including somberly lit widescreen images of cramped apartments and city streets, give “Shooting the Moon” a realistic but inevitably downbeat atmosphere. Nevertheless, the film ends on a note of optimism.

Senni and di Giovanni inhabit their roles with complete conviction, and the film’s considerable success owes much to their natural performances.

Archibugi handles this gritty material with sensitivity, and manages to inject moments of humor into what could otherwise have been a grim tale.

Shooting the Moon

(DRAMA -- ITALIAN)

Production: An Istituto Luce (in Italy) release of a 3emme Cinematografica/Istituto Luce/RAI Cinemafiction production, in collaboration with Tele. (International sales: RAI Trade, Rome.) Produced by Leo Pescarolo, Guido de Laurentiis. Directed, written by Francesca Archibugi. Camera (color, Technovision widescreen), Luca Bigazzi; editor, Esmeralda Calabria; music, Battista Lena; production designer, Mario Rossetti; costume designer, Paola Marchesin; sound (Dolby digital), Alessandro Zanon. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 3, 1998. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: Silvia ..... Valeria Golino Massimo ..... Sergio Rubini Roberto ..... Stefano Dionisi Siddhartha ..... Niccolo Senni Domitilla ..... Francesca di Giovanni Psychologist ..... Maria Consagra Toni ..... Giuseppe del Bono Doctor ..... Raffaella Lebboroni Flavia ..... Serena Scapagnini

More Film

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • Tessa Thompson Nnamdi Asomugha

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha to Star in 'Sylvie'

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are set to star in the feature film “Sylvie.” Eugene Ashe has written the screenplay and will direct with production currently underway. The film is described as a love story set in the cool jazz era of New York City in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. Sylvie (played by Thompson) meets aspiring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content