Sicilian director Francesco Calogero, whose films have been uncommercial and uneven but not uninteresting, moves into conventional genre territory with "Nightwatchman." Despite promising ideas about the irrational behavior and alienation fostered by a lonely, stressful, nocturnal job, and a capable cast led by popular star Diego Abatantuono, this sluggish, drab-looking mystery drama is too low on atmosphere, edge and tension to have much theatrical impact.
Sicilian director Francesco Calogero, whose films have been uncommercial and uneven but not uninteresting, moves into conventional genre territory with “Nightwatchman.” Despite promising ideas about the irrational behavior and alienation fostered by a lonely, stressful, nocturnal job, and a capable cast led by popular star Diego Abatantuono, this sluggish, drab-looking mystery drama is too low on atmosphere, edge and tension to have much theatrical impact.
An abrasive type constantly riding his fellow security guards, Paolo (Abatantuono) violently argues with a colleague one night, then returns later to find the man shot. The crime scene is outside the home of a beautiful Russian woman (Anna Safroncik), whom the increasingly obsessed Paolo has been spying on through her window for months. The script’s aim is to foreground the characters and their solitude rather than the standard thriller machinations. But the investigation proceeds in dull, TV-drama fashion as Paolo weeds out the squad’s corrupt elements to clear his name. Zero chemistry between Abatantuono and inexpressive Safroncik keeps the romance tepid, but aside from that, cast generally is better than the material.
An Eagle Pictures release of a Digital Film production, in association with RAI, with participation of Telepiu. Produced by Galliano Juso. Directed by Francesco Calogero. Screenplay, Calogero, Umberto Contarello; story, Vincenzo Pardini. Camera (Cinecitta color), Giulio Pietromarchi; editor, Davide Azzigana; music, Mario Tronco, Pinomarino Band; art director, Riccardo Benvenuti; costume designer, Angela Buscemi. Reviewed at Barberini Cinema, Rome, March 28, 2000. Original title: Metronotte. Running time: 103 MIN.
With: Diego Abatantuono, Anna Safroncik, Flavio Insinna, Marco Messeri, Simona Caramelli, Antonio Petrocelli, Ugo Conti, Nini Salerno, Antonella Ponziani.
Popular on Variety
Why 'Toy Story 4' Character Forky Wasn't Named Sporky
In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Stuber.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.91 million through Sunday for 1,325 national ad airings on 42 networks. [...]
BTS will be back on the big screen this summer. The Korean pop group announced today that their latest feature film, “Bring the Soul: The Movie,” will have a global release on August 7. It arrives just six and a half months after the septet’s last film release, “Love Yourself in Seoul.” “Bring the Soul” [...]
The weekend box office has gone to the dolls. “Annabelle Comes Home,” a supernatural horror film about a possessed toy, is facing off against another band of plastic figurines: “Toy Story 4.” Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” is expected to dominate box office charts again over newcomers “Annabelle Comes Home” and “Yesterday,” a fantasy musical set [...]
101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,” offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]
One of the very first images – or flickers of light — ever put on film was shot by Thomas Edison on a kinescope in 1894 depicting Native Americans performing a sacred “Sioux Ghost Dance.” Another film industry milestone will occur this October when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences bestows a Governors [...]
The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]
Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]