Wednesday, February 12, 2014


marina by stijn coninx

Last week I saw Marina by Daens director Stijn Coninx. I knew very little of Rocco Granata, upon whose life the movie is based, except for his hit song Marina, but somehow, the delicate trailer really spoke to me. I was also very curious how Safety First actor Matteo Simoni (the No. 2 hottest Matteo in Flanders, behind Yours Truly, thank you very much) would fare in a serious role.

After the war, Salvatore Granata (Luigi Lo Cascio) moves from Italy to Genk, Belgium to work in the mines. Instead of following through with his plan to stay for three years, he has his family moved over, too, some 12 months later. Contrary to what Salvatore had expected, working in Belgium is tough and not all that lucrative. As a result, he doesn't take well to the musical aspirations of his son, Rocco (Simoni).

I really enjoyed Marina. Coninx beautifully captured the humble beginnings of Rocco Granata, and the wonderful cast, which included Evelien Bosmans, Donatella Finnochiaro, Chris Van Den Durpel, and Warre Borgmans, did a great job of bringing the 1950's back to life. Simoni, on his part, turned in a great performance, though it is always a bit of a hurdle to set a TV actor apart from the TV character that vaulted him into popularity.

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