A daughter tries to untangle her mom’s romantic past as the pair visit “Alexandria” in this good-looking but stiffly staged drama in which people sit around in nice clothes, drink wine and talk about Rimbaud. Sophomore feature by Greek-born, Italian-trained helmer Maria Iliou has the unmistakable feel of an arty Europudding headed to mainland European cable.
Opera singer Elena Topazoglou (Michele Valley) arrives in Alexandria (“the capital of memory”) with her daughter Nina (Sylvia De Santis) for the first time since she left in 1956. While there, in between having a cross-cultural relationship with young half-Egyptian, half-Italian doctor Yusri (Salvatore Lazzaro), Nina pieces together (via three big flashbacks) a grand amour that the teenage Elena (Camille Panonacle, lissome) had with a writer, Albert (Jean-Pierre Lorit). Though clearly well researched in its period art direction and costume design, pic rarely gets off the starting blocks emotionally, with characters talking in a novelistic way, plenty of Middle East color and everyone looking cool in cotton frocks and jackets.