Golden Door comes with an introduction from Martin Scorsese, who gives the movie praise for something, though I sort of zoned out when he was talking. Once he was done, I tuned in for a rather interesting though ultimately forgettable drama about a bunch of Italian immigrants trying to make it into the U.S. through Ellis Island at the turn of the century.
Golden Door (also known as Nuovomondo) stars Charlotte Gainsbourg (The Science of Sleep), a British woman who winds up traveling to the U.S. with a bunch of Italians on a ship. On board, she meets plenty of interesting people (some good, some not so good), but the anticipation of the new world comes to a screeching halt when they arrive at Ellis Island and find that to actually be admitted to the United States, they have to pass a series of tests, evaluations and even proof of marriage to complete strangers.
The movie, directed by Emanuele Crialese, is an enlightening look at the immigration process at the turn of the century and at the somewhat ludicrous filtering process the country performed to keep certain people out. A commentary on our times, perhaps? Anyway, Golden Door is a decent drama with pretty good acting and a touching story of perseverance, but that's about it. There is nothing remarkable about it or memorable; there are no standout performances or anything else. Having watched this film shortly after watching some of the year's best, Golden Door really doesn't compare.
Golden Door is good for what it is, but there really isn't anything that sets it apart from the rest. Recommended to those who like foreign dramas and need something to watch on a Friday night, but otherwise, don't bother.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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