(Andie MacDowell, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton, Asia Argento, et al / DVD / R / (2002) 2007 / LGF)
Overview: FBI agent Matt Benson (HARVEY KEITEL) is sent to the beautiful Sicilian coast to investigate who killed a Mafia informant and most of his family... everyone except the man's eleven-year-old son, Ettore. In an effort to protect him and get the reluctant orphan to reveal the identity of the murderers, Benson brings Ettore to stay at the villa where he is living with his wife (ANDIE MacDOWELL) and daughter. But the Mafia is determined to kidnap Ettore and finish their deadly job of revenge. With all their lives in constant danger, Benson must act quickly to solve the crime before it is too late. Unexpected twists, psychological tension and a maze of lies keep this electrifying thriller a surprise right to the very end.
DVD Verdict: Arriving on the eponymous Sicilian island with his wife and child to investigate the murder of a would-be informant, FBI agent Matt Benson (Harvey Keitel) attempts to contact the only person who knows the truth behind the killing - the dead man's eleven-year-old son.
As Benson races to reach the boy before the mafia, it's only a matter of time before the endangered boy meets the same fate as his father. 'Ginostra' - starring two of my favorite actors in both MacDowell and Keitel - is a very powerful (if not clearly inexpensively made) film. But that's the thing, when you have a lack of money, but you're given wonderful rustic locales and a quality actor ready to dive in regardless (Keitel), your movie suddenly takes shape, takes life.
These Aeolian islands in Sicily where the village of Ginostra is to be found lay the visual foundation for a movie that at times takes one too many hits in the over-thought, over-stated chapter of entertainment. Regardless of the acting - which for the most part is very good (note the cast once again though!) - and regardless of a few overly-lengthy explanatory scenes, 'Ginostra' is a great movie for those rainy, lazy Sunday afternoons. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.