After Midnight

| December 1, 2004

Almost any film would automatically be worth watching if it were set in the amazingly gorgeous Mole Antonelliana the Museum of Cinema in Turin, Italy–but After Midnight surpasses all expectations. Written, directed, and produced by Davide Ferrario, it centers on a love triangle between a woman named Amanda (Francesca Inaudi) who hates her job, her unreliable and arrogant car-thief boyfriend Angel (Fabio Troiano), and the Museums shy and intriguing night watchman Martino (Giorgio Pasotti). The film utilizes the magic of cinema to communicate emotions between the characters in an enchanting way.
After Amanda douses her mean and demanding boss with hot oil, she ends up being thrown together with Martino as she is fleeing from the police. He gives her a hiding spot in the Museum and their feelings and relationship quickly grow from there. Although it is obvious to the audience whom Amanda should choose from the very beginning the sweet, silent, and creative Martino, over the loud, undependable car thief Angel it is not tiring to follow Amanda as she tries to make this discovery herself. After Midnight maintains its charm throughout with its clever yet obscure wit that makes the story immediately relatable.
I loved watching the relationship between Martino and Amanda unfold in such an understated manner. The level of realism in their interactions further contributes to my adoration for their characters. Despite the fact that I found Inaudi’s acting in the role of Amanda less than stellar at first, she entirely won me over by the end of the film. When she finds herself in this complicated love triangle with almost no clue as to how she arrived at that place, I felt total understanding and compassion for her position. Martino seems like he honestly belongs in the silent film era, and his intentions towards Amanda only become clear when he expresses them through the medium of film. Pasotti’s acting in this role is marvelously understated, without a flaw anywhere in the performance.
After Midnight utilizes a technique much like the one used in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers situations occurring in the story are mirrored with excerpts from silent films, this time with a concentration on Buster Keaton. This technique draws attention to the fact that cinema emulates life, and vice versa. As Martino is an avid lover of the miracle of cinema, it only makes sense to include these edits as a way of communicating the way he views the world, and his feelings towards Amanda. The method is definitely effective; so much so that I believe it would draw a smile from even the most cynical of viewers.
After Midnight’s humor is quirky and subtle; its love story delightful and surprising, and its aesthetics completely encompassing to the eye. This is a film that I hope to watch time and time again, and I recommend it whole-heartedly and without hesitation.
After Midnight opens in New York City on December 3rd.

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