DVD The Keys to the House (DVD 27737),
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The Keys to the House

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Taking to some difficult material with a sublimely delicate touch, Italian director Gianni Amelio offers a personal cinematic treatise on mental illness, physical disability, and child abandonment in THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE. Gianni (Kim Rossi Stuart) is a father who removed himself from the child rearing process when his mentally and physically challenged son, Paolo (Andrea Rossi), was born. Paolo's mother died giving birth, so a kindly couple picked up the reigns and raised him under trying circumstances. Fifteen years later, a guilt-stricken Gianni gets back in touch with his son, offering to accompany him on a trip to a hospital in Berlin. Paolo cautiously agrees to the trip with his father, but the reunion is awkward for both parties. The level of care Paolo requires is problematic for Gianni, while Paolo seizes the opportunity to unleash some pent up anger he's kept simmering beneath the surface for the previous 15 years. But a chance meeting at the hospital between Gianni and a fellow parent of a disabled child, Nicole (Charlotte Rampling), presents the beleaguered father with a lifeline. Offering helpful advice, Nicole's words provide Gianni with the glue needed to mend his fractious relationship with Paolo. But as Amelio's film reaches its conclusion, some surprising revelations threaten to undo all of Gianni's attempts at reconciliation.

    Presenting some well-considered musings on the difficult relationship between the disabled and their able-bodied counterparts, THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE triumphs by offering some rarely afforded screen time to an oft-neglected section of the community. Director Amelio treats his subject matter with the dignity and respect it deserves, always treading carefully so as not to condescend, and ultimately offering a cogent statement that lingers long in the mind after the final credits roll.
  • Credits
    Charlotte Rampling, Kim Rossi-Stuart, Pierfrancesco Favino, Michael Weiss, Andrea Rossi, Alla Faerovich
  • Critic Reviews
    "[T]he kind of quietly unassuming tear-jerker that works its way into your heart."
    New York Times

    "[Told] with an exactness and a restraint that makes it powerfully effective."
    Los Angeles Times

    "[S]oft an unassuming..."

    "Amelio creates a rarefied atmosphere using sound, colour and a slow cinematic pace."
    Sight and Sound

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