Argento has managed to transcend the trappings the ocean of coming of age/awful childhood films to create something odd, funny, sad horrifying, inventive and unique.
It's triply impressive because the heroine here is a 'poor little rich girl' – thus making her less automatically sympathetic, and she is clearly rooted in Argento's own childhood growing up with artistic, dramatic and well known parents. And it's very easy for such a personal film to lose its objectivity and simply become a scream at those adults that wounded you as a child. But by playing deftly with black humor and touches of the surreal the film mostly avoids self- pity on one side and the overly familiar on the other.
Yes, by the end watching spunky, sweet and sad little Aria get endlessly shuffled back and forth between her divorced and monstrously selfish parents gets a bit repetitive (although it IS all slowly evolving towards an ending – the repetition does pay off). And a few sequences don't work as well as most. But for every minor miss-step under Argento's adventurous hand there are a number of wonderful and very cinematic moments. It's a film I look forward to seeing again, and I hope it gets an English subtitled release on blu-ray or DVD soon.
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