In Search of Fellini (2017) Poster

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welcome to the universe
David Ferguson30 April 2017
USA Film Festival 2017 Greetings again from the darkness. Even In this age of "helicopter parenting" it's disconcerting to see such flagrant over-protectiveness as that perpetuated by Maria Bello's character on her daughter Lucy. For film lovers, it's even more disheartening to see how the mother uses "happy ending" movies such as It's a Wonderful Life to create the social bubble that results in 20 year old Lucy having never been kissed, and having no concept of reality (outside of what she has seen in movies).

Contrary to what that set-up would have us believe, director Taron Lexton's film is actually less Coming-of-Age and more 'Welcome to the Universe', and Lucy's journey of self-discovery is quite enjoyable to behold. Co-written by Nancy Cartwright and Peter Kjenaas, it's the 'based on a true story' of Ms. Cartwright's own personal journey prior to her nearly 30 year run as the voice of Bart Simpson.

Lucy (Ksenia Solo, Black Swan) is off on an interview-gone-wrong when she stumbles into a Fellini film festival. She is immediately entranced by the obscure imagery and often less-than-happy endings. In fact, she connects with the films in such a manner that she is inspired to travel to Italy and meet with the Maestro himself. Ms. Cartwright's real life motivation stemmed from watching Fellini's La Strada (1954), and she instantly saw herself in Gelsomina (played by the spirited Giuletta Masina).

Her travels through Italy are filled with ups and downs, and Lucy crosses paths with good people and bad. It's her first true life experience and we are along for the ride. The structure of the story is such that as Lucy is discovering life, her mother (Bello) is back home in Ohio slowly losing her battle with cancer while being nursed by her straight-talking sister (Mary Lynn Rajskub, Chloe from "24"). Such contrasting elements would fit right in to a Fellini film.

At some point, most movie lovers experience the awakening that occurs when graduating from pleasant, feel good family movies to more esoteric and philosophical cinema. Fortunately, this awakening typically occurs before age 20 and does not require an international trip or dying mother to allow us to grow as a person. Ms. Cartwright's willingness to share her story makes for interesting filmmaking and one of the more unusual coming-of-age (or Welcome to the Universe) twists that we've seen on screen.
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Wonderful, visual film
edieinc21 September 2017
Loved the film. The lead, not sure of her name, was charming as hell and the film was lush and visually amazing. The energy of the film moved fast and forward and made it fun to watch. I'm amazed they got the locations they did. The story inspired me to go out and live more and take some chances. It hot the romantic and adventurous nature in me. This is a date movie for sure. A perfect film to take your gal to and let the film take you on an adventure. Enjoy.
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My Favorite Thing About Art
md-4575520 September 2017
If you're looking for a typical Hollywood cookie-cutter predictable film, stay at home and watch Bridget Jones because this isn't one of those.

Its stunning photography and enough of a Fellini film's "Huh?", mixed with a story which made me have to suspend belief a couple times but then I remembered it's not a documentary so I was good again. Oh, yeah - it's a movie! I got immersed, involved and actually got a bit emotional at the end.

I probably came away with a slightly different take on what the film was about than you will, and that's my favorite thing about art. Go see it and enjoy the beauty of your own journey with this lovely film.
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Truly Touching Film
jianinehuff20 September 2017
I went into this film not knowing much about what the story would be, but that it was mostly based on true events that depicted a young girl's journey to Italy in search of a director.

For me, it was really a beautiful story about family, adventure, love, loss, personal growth, independence and persevering through barriers to achieve your purpose. It was gorgeously shot and really moved me both visually and emotionally.
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Lyrically shot, beautiful story AND a trip to Italy!
meskimen-116 September 2017
This film is a magical journey, truly. The cinematography, sound and music combine with winning direction and performances to make for a very emotional and aesthetic film. Plus, you really feel like you have been to Venice, Rome and Verona! Well done, all departments. I enjoyed it very much and so did my wife and my mom.
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Moving, compelling, thought provoking
gene-denos15 September 2017
We love the doting mother who creates a daughter child who is open to experience the true soul of life. Piqued by Fellini she takes us on an awakening journey and through her we experience love and life. I felt the film resonate in so many ways. What a wonder break from car chases and explosions. Don't miss this film. If you do you will miss one of the best films of the year.
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A fantastic and moving experience
tonebefree20 September 2017
Just a wonderful vibrant story about coming of age . Smartly written, beautifully imaged, thoroughly well acted, directed and scored. Evoked many emotions for me personally. A true work of art... I encourage all to see it .. it's a cinematic experience that speaks to why we all love To go to the movies ...
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An unexpected pleasure
gcoombsou28 September 2017
You don't have to be a Fellini fan to enjoy and appreciate this movie, but if you have some familiarity, you will catch the references built into both the story and the cinematography (which is beautiful) and the Fellini clips integrated throughout. The story is a stylized, semi-autobiographical view of a solo trip co-writer Nancy Cartwright made to Italy in her early 20s after becoming enamored of the films of Federico Fellini. Ksenia Solo as Lucy, gives a wonderful performance, growing from wide eyed innocence and naivety through her experiences, good and bad (and bizarre). Her eyes alone speak volumes in every scene. Maria Bello and Mary Lynn Rajskub as Lucy's mother and aunt also shine as they negotiate their relationships both with Lucy and each other.
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Coming out of a childhood fantasy..
ravi24459 December 2017
Nice movie. Lucy is so over protected by her (single) mom who does not want her hurt by the 'lessons of life', that she is not even told that her dog dies, when it does. Lucy gets greeting cards from her dog that went 'off on an adventure'. So, when she is 20, and her mom is obviously declining in health, she is lost. A chance encounter with a screening of a Fellini movie leads to an obsession, and then, she takes off for a somewhat half baked trip to Italy. She has an appointment to keep with Fellini, which she sets up over the phone! Many practical details are glossed over (where did she get a passport, if mom was so protective, etc?). The movie shines in interweaving fantasy and her dreamlike state with reality and her mother's experiences with her own. This is not 'realism' by any stretch.. towards the end, we are rewarded with a young self confident woman, who has learned a lot of life lessons from her Italy trip.
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Sheltered young woman blossoms on trip to Italy
interbang9 October 2017
This is a perfect movie for anyone who loves Italy and Fellini. It gets off to a charming start, then jumps up a level when the action moves to Genoa, Venice and Rome. Anyone familiar with Fellini's films will instantly key in on what Nancy Cartwright is after. Who would have expected this from the voice of Bart Simpson? Charming characters, the tone never falters. Highly recommended.
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Brilliant, emotional, one of a kind
pleximeg24 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was non-stop, taking you on a ride, exciting, adventurous, emotional, beautiful, aesthetic, warm, intense, mysterious -- adjectives that I can use to describe very few movies nowadays. This movie was crafted so well, drew you into the movie and the story and the character's feelings, viewpoint, life, so much -- that you were constantly wanting the next scene to come -- faster and faster than it ever could! The music was gorgeous, very sweet, very beautiful. The colors, the scenery, the cinematography was excellent. The entire story really was just extremely unique, extremely emotional, and truly -- was just a wonderful exhibit of storytelling. I highly recommend and think this movie really should get very high honors at award ceremonies this year.
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