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Genova [DVD] [2008]

Hope Davis , Monica Bennati , Michael Winterbottom    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: £3.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Genova [DVD] [2008] + Then She Found Me [2008] [DVD] + The Secret Laughter of Women [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Hope Davis, Monica Bennati, Dante Ciari, Gherardo Crucitti, Colin Firth
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: In2film
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Feb 2010
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0033T50NW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,683 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Michael Winterbottom directs this supernatural drama starring Colin Firth as Joe, an Englishman who moves with his two American-bred daughters to Genova, Italy after his wife is killed in a car crash. There, the three surviving members of the family adjust to their loss and adapt to their new life in very different, and often conflicting, ways. While 16-year-old Kelly (Willa Holland) explores the sexy and dangerous underbelly of this mysterious new world, the younger Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine) starts seeing the ghost of her mother wandering the streets.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting depiction of grief 3 Oct 2010
By Tonkfan
Colin Firth reminds us of his extensive talent here, perfectly depicting the dichotomy of a grieving widower who must keep going for the sake of his two daughters. He is ably supported by the two young leads, at different stages in their lives, displaying their confusion, grief and alienation (both physical, having moved to a strange country, and psychological, as they come to terms with their new reality as motherless children) in age-appropriate ways - and very convincingly. The added dimension of the guilt felt by the younger daughter is believable and tragic.

All in all, I am surprised by the number of negative reviews this film has received. I think Michael Winterbottom was seeking to depict a slice of everyday life, albeit very bitter-sweet and raw. Maybe there isn't a huge amount of action, but most people's lives tend to be that way, and action was obviously not the motivation behind this piece.

Personally, I thought it was excellent and would watch again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Colin
An understated and quietly effective ghost story set in the creepy, dark, and narrow lanes of the crumbling old city of Genoa where a grief and guilt stricken young girl encounters an apparition of the dead mother for whose death she blames herself. Though some have compared this film to "Don't Look Now", with Genoa standing in for Venice, there are also clear references to "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James. Like the latter story, whether the apparition is a subjective hallucination or is objectively real is somehow beside the point. The point is not questions as to the "reality" of the ghost but what it means to the protagonist and what the rite of passage represented by death and loss means to the living. Without giving away the plot I merely hint that the moral of this film, like "Don't Look Now", is that, however benign they seem, its best for ones health that the denizens on the "Other Side" should be left severely alone by those on this side...Just to add that I think that some of the uncomprehending reviews here seem to be from those who were unconsiously ticking the boxes of acceptable Holly-wooden wham-bam cinematic cliches and were just not paying attention...Though slow paced, this is, in fact, a tightly plotted film, with a resolute and chilling conclusion. Good acting, nice score and beautiful scenery also...Chill out, ye who are deficit of attention, and enjoy...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slowly unwinding grief 29 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I did like this film very much. It is not a big blockbuster with a happy ever after ending. It is a journey with a start but no ending.
Colin plays a widower looking after his children, after the sudden loss of his wife. He moves to Genova to start over. The film moves very slowly and gracefully along as the grief of these 3 people is played out. There is a feeling of continuity towards the end of the film, that life does goes on (even though the movie ends) as the family come to terms with their new life.
Genova the city is beautiful old city, with amazing scenery, winding streets, interesting people and has a history. Some of the camera angles (from high up or from a child's perspective) gave me the sense of how easy one could 'lose' themselves in a such a place. The grief that could easily destroy them, ends up bringing them together in the end. It is beautifully made.

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 4 April 2010
By davektt
I'm troubled that so many reviews here and elsewhere describe Genova as 'boring' or plotless. I'll admit it breaks off rather abruptly at the end, and I felt like another scene wouldn't have hurt. And I'd also say that the idea of calling it a 'supernatural chiller' (as the cover review quote does) is misleading, to the point of being damaging. I found the film, despite it's sombre subject, very uplifting. Perhaps this has something to do with my having left the UK for New Zealand, and finding myself missing Europe (especially France and Italy) more than I'd like. The filming of the city is gorgeous, and reminds me somewhat of 'Don't Look Now' (though obviously in a different season), but more importantly the performance of the three main characters was very impressive. Both the girls were very convincing in their roles - particularly impressive for the younger actress - and Colin Firth played his standard subdued role in a way that I thought worked very well. For me though, the actresses (Willa Holland and Perla Haney-Jardine) performances were the more impressive and substantial part of the film, and I look forward to seeing their other performances in the future.

As far as the lack of plot goes, perhaps my strong enjoyment of French cinema makes me more tolerant of a less staged, Hollywood-like storyline. It's simply more of a (mainland) European-style, moderate budget film, rather than a star-vehicle. I like the fact that not every scene is obviously linking from the last one into the next. I don't really see that a film needs to have a firm, step 1 to step 10, narrative to make it enjoyable. I was very happily immersed in the performances and the setting, and my only complaint is that the film wasn't longer. But perhaps this leaves us more opportunity to think through the next stages of the story ourselves, if we so choose.

Anyway, now to perk up the Amazon sales dept by buying the thing!
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a portrait of a city and a touching tale 2 Aug 2009
This movie is a great portrait for wonderful, misterious, city: Genova.The culturally rich Italian city is the backdrop for one of Colin Firth's finest roles as the desolate dad who struggles to console his younger daughter who was inadvertently responsible for his wife's demise, and her older sister, whose grief manifests itself in angry rebellion.

Michael Winterbottom's choice of Genoa is inspirational - the churches, beautiful buildings and glorious coast meshing perfectly with a tender script.

Firth is utterly believable in his role as a beleaguered single parent Joe, who is both grieving but attempting to start his life afresh.
I definitely suggest to see the movie and to visit Genova.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it
Published 1 month ago by rita
5.0 out of 5 stars package in good
Satistied, package in good condition
Published 1 month ago by Mo
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
not this one
Published 2 months ago by valerie marlow
4.0 out of 5 stars Genova
Colin Firth as usual brilliant, his two daughters also. Had seen before on tv but had forgotten it. Story line interesting only as seeing how a widower with daughters copes with... Read more
Published 9 months ago by ALANC
3.0 out of 5 stars Genova (DVD) (2008)
I watched this with my husband. It had a good story which began in America and switched to Genoa in Italy, so there were lovely views. Read more
Published 11 months ago by critic
5.0 out of 5 stars Genova 's story
I have enjoyed watching this film it's very well done and Colin firth's portrayal of being a single father was so sincere and understanding and you can tell that it came... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Elizabeth O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars Genoa
I bought this video to experience once again the eerie, mysterious and mildly frightening deep dark streets of Genoa where once I got lost. I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Margaret Ann Cook
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow and Pointless
I bought this DVD as Colin Firth was in it and I expected it to be good. It was very slow, jumped from scene to scene without finishing conversations and was generally very... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ron Robson
3.0 out of 5 stars Genova
Quite a sad story that keeps you in suspense most of the movie.
A bit disappointing, but not all that bad after all.
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by Ale77
1.0 out of 5 stars Boredom Is Only the Beginning
As plenty of people have said, this is a film in which nothing happens. The director was also responsible for the indulgent Coogan/Brydon vehicle The Trip, so I suppose that should... Read more
Published on 27 Mar 2011 by Johns
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