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GOLDEN DOOR (aka Nuovomondo (2006))
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 118 minutes, making of featurette
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anammorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: Italian 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Miramax/ Memento Films
RELEASE DATE: 1-8-2008

Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) wants a better life for his family in Sicily. He decides to take the whole family with him- his mother, his two sons, and his sisters- from Sicily and immigrqate to New York City at the turn-of-the-20th century. On the trip, he meets a mysterious Englishwoman, Lucy Reed (Charlotte Gainsbourg). No one is prepared for the strange ways (on Ellis Island) where the United States will figure out who can be allowed to let in to the USA.

GOLDEN DOOR (aka Nuovomondo (2006)) is a moving film from director Emanuele Crialese. He captures the dreams the immigrants have and the things they go through in hopes of a better life. Also GOLDEN DOOR is notable for the last acting role for Vincent Schiavelli (who plays a guy who arranges marraige between Americans and immigrants) before his death (his role was cut down due to his untimely death). Miramax does mislabel GOLDEN DOOR as a romance. It is more about a journey of determination where people seek out their dreams even when it means Luce Reed agrees to marry Salvatore so she can be allowed into the USA. It is also a doorway into what the immigrants may have felt and experienced at that period of time on their journey from Sicily to Ellis Island and the weird psychological tests they are put through when they get there. They are nervous and afraid. Their dreams may seem weird like giant carrots, trees of money, and rivers of milk, but they are the illusions tehy carry that get broken. I do wish GOLDEN DOOR had a more concrete resolution because I wanted to see how Salvatore and luce experience America.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Director Martin Scorsese has recorded an introduction to GOLDEN DOOR on why he loves the film. Besides previews for other DVD releases, the other extra is the fascinating MAKING OF GOLDEN DOOR featurette which has interviews with director Emanuele Crialese, and actors Vincenzo Amato and Charliotte Gainsbourg. The director researched for years and GOLDEN DOOR was filmed in Argentina. It is a good look at the making of GOLDEN DOOR and be able to hear the thoughts from the main people involved.

FINAL ANLYSIS: GOLDEN DOOR is a breathtaking look at the journey and experiences of Sicilian immigrants.

this DVD review is (c)1-10-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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