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Archive for September 29th, 2010

Phenomena

by on Sep.29, 2010, under Daily Review

Jennifer Connelly gained fame as a young actress with Labyrinth, but prior to this, she’d already worked with two of the worlds greatest directors, Sergio Leone (One upon a Time in America) and here with Argento. It’s obvious, they could see the talent and great potential. Connelly is magnificent here and holds the film together, just as Hemmings did in Deep Red, anchoring the film with Character.

Girls are being murdered in the Swiss Alps with only body parts being discovered months after. (Connelly) is a rich American kid whose father finds her a girls school in Europe to study. She’s not like the other students, her father being a heart throb actor, but that’s not all. She has a secret ability to communicate with insects and sleepwalks too. She teams up with Professor McGregor (Donald Pleasence), an expert in the field of insects who introduces her to the Great Sarcophagus, a fly which lives on rotting human flesh. The investigation begins.

The film is full of wonder, a great plot with a dash of the fantastical and some vicious gore. Cinematography is outstanding but subtle (Romano Albani), once again, Argento pushes for strong characters to take the viewer through some crazy plotlines. Great musical score too, a collective of Boswell, Goblin, Simonetti and Bill Wyman.

As suspected, we have another window murder, the opening scene, first murder, head crashed through glass. This is strange. I’ve seen most of Argento’s films many times, never noticed this connection before. So far, four out of four have window murders.

As mentioned, it’s Connelly who wins this film over. She’s a great actress and here does not disappoint. Talking away to bees and flies, she makes this crazy plot work and takes us to a believable place. Pleasance and Nicolodi as always put in a fine performance too.

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