The Girl by the Lake

2007

Drama / Mystery / Thriller

1
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 3516

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 18, 2022 at 10:08 PM

Cast

Valeria Golino as Chiara Canali
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
878.89 MB
1280*522
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 42 / 57
1.76 GB
1920*784
Italian 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gridoon2022 7 / 10

Engrossing whodunit let down by weak finish

Based on a book written by a Norwegian female crime novelist who probably has Agatha Christie as her idol, "La Ragazza Del Lago" AKA "The Girl By The Lake" is an engrossing murder mystery set mostly in a small Alpine town near Udine, Italy. The naked body of a beautiful young woman is accidentally discovered by a little girl near a lake. She appears to have drowned. A veteran police inspector with problems in his personal life is assigned to the case. Excellently played by Toni Servillo, this inspector is like a more human, more vulnerable Hercule Poirot. The entire cast is good (by the way, Valeria Golino is perhaps even more beautiful at 41 than she was at 21; and the young Alessia Piovan is simply a knockout, face & body), but Servillo always remains the central figure. After a slightly slow start the film grips you, and Andrea Molaioli's direction is very atmospheric - he really transports you to this scenic, peaceful (?) little town. However, I felt that the ending was not fully satisfying: basically I was expecting at least one more twist and I was surprised to see the end credits appearing so soon (SPOILERS here, so don't read the next few lines if you haven't seen it: I also think that Anna having made a "pact" with her killer would have been a more plausible explanation for her not fighting back than the one the movie offers; even if she was prepared to die, she would have wanted it to be on her own terms END SPOILERS). I do recommend this film to fans of Agatha Christie-type mysteries, but Christie herself would probably have added at least one more sting in the tail. (***)

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 8 / 10

A Nutshell Review: The Girl By The Lake

At first glance the synopsis might have suggested some similarities with the New Zealand film In My Father's Den, and indie film The Dead Girl. After all, the pace started to pick up when the body of a young woman is found by the lake (hence the title) of a small and quiet Italian town, with the story progressing like an investigative drama that made me wanted to scream Twin Peaks!

In essence, this film by Andrea Molaioli, based upon the novel by Karin Fossum, runs very much like how an investigations is set out to be, full of red herrings, half truths, deceit, together with plenty of doubt, and little leads to plough things forward. For that, I thought it captured the dilemma of an investigator really well, with Toni Servillo in excellent form as Commissario Sanzio, a stoic, no-nonsense police investigator who together with his small team, have to solve this strange case. If I may say so, it puts the audience into the thick of the action really well, with the ABCs of an investigation - Assume nothing, Believe nobody, and Check everything, superbly brought out.

And that started right from the beginning too, as things are not quite they seem, and I was quick to pass judgement on the film, thinking that it was an open and shut case too soon, and too obvious. For those who enjoy a good dose of investigative drama, then this film would be right up your alley. There are frustrations of course when you find yourself drawn into the events of the picture, working toward trying to solve the case before Sanzio does, but each time being thwarted, and going back to the drawing board if you had missed a potential lead, or had been blindsided and failed to pick up clues that the actors give out, akin to playing a game of Cluedo.

But those who don't enjoy wrecking your brains too much, fret not too. The story is rich enough not to dwell too much on the police work, deftly splitting its time to dig into a little more of its central characters so that they flesh out in more three-dimensional terms, rather than being flat. The ensemble cast deserves credit for making their characters believable, and hence all the more difficult when you try to weed out the possible suspects with clear motivations. In particular, we see more of Sanzio's personal life in the film, where he has to deal with a wife suffering from advanced dementia, and a growing teenage daughter (Guilia Michelini) with whom he sometimes fail to see eye to eye with. He may be tip top in the professional front, but on the personal end it does seem like he does require some assistance.

There would be those who might complaint that the ending was too convenient, but trust me having been there and done that, there are occasions when folks know their game is up, and resistance is just plain futile. To me, for personal reasons, this was as accurate a movie as can be that had brought out similar feelings during probes into what had happened, and you know what? A little eclectic techno music on the side does no wrong too!

Reviewed by Chris Knipp 8 / 10

An 'existential' police procedural

This film set in a mountain valley, well received at Venice last year and feted in Italy, is a slow burner for sure. It's sometimes a little hard to tell if it still has a pulse. But it does move on well-oiled wheels. It develops its portrait of malaise with steely control. As in any good murder mystery, which is what this is, everybody has secrets to hide. Many are simply repressed. Others are depressed, angry, or impaired. Several are seriously ill. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the story is adopted from a Scandinavian source; the lago (lake) was originally a fjord, and the book was Karin Fossum's bestseller mystery novel Don't Look Back (apologies to Nicolas Roeg), which Sandro Petraglia adapted for the screen in collaboration with directorial debutant Molaioli.

Things start when little six-year-old Marta (Nicole Perrone), who has spent the night with her aunt, is sent off home, but on her way is talked into mounting the van of somebody she knows (in this town, everybody knows everybody else), and her safe trip home is derailed. Later, Marta's mother (Maria Sole Mansutti) frantic with worry, and a search that extends beyond the town is begun. The culprit is Mario (Franco Ravera), who's crazy. Harmless, some say. Till he's not, says another.

Though this may seem more a study of provincial angst than a police procedural, the most angst-ridden and the center of the story is a former homicide cop, Inspector Sanzio (well played by noted director and theater man Toni Servillo). He's newly arrived in these parts (Carnia, in the Friuli), but his instincts were immediately awakened by Marta's disappearance. Than Anna Nadal (Alessia Piovan) is found dead by the side of the lake, arranged in a peaceful position and with a coat over her naked body.

Anna has a father, Davide Nadal (Marco Baliani), who loved her excessively; his videos of her have an almost voyeuristic quality. The father of Mario (Omero Antonutti), hated Anna because she had thin legs, and he saw her often running up in the mountains. She was a gifted hockey player, but has recently quit and only runs. The autopsy reveals surprising things about Anna. She has a boyfriend, Alfredo (Nello Mascia), who goes into a funk and stops reporting to work. He's found trying to erase Anna's CD-Roms and with other incriminating evidence. There's another man who says Anna had a crush on him. Meanwhile we get to know the stony-faced but technically impeccable Inspector Sanzio further. His wife is (Anna Bonaiuto) elsewhere and he is hiding secrets about her from his daughter Francesca (Giulia Michelini), which whom he has an uneasy relationship This may seem revealing too much, but when we know this, we still know little; the essential information is yet to come along with the confession of the murderer. That scene is a little too collegial and flat for anyone with a taste for noir. But this is never noir (black); it's gray, gray and misty. And in this "existential" approach to murder—though this is hardly new—it's not so important Whodunit as what's motivating everyone, and how much lies hidden in a seemingly quiet, well-behaved town, the turbulence below the placid surface of the lake.

Andrea Molaioli has worked with directors Nanni Moretti, Carlo Mazzacurati, and Daniele Lucchetti. The Girl by the Lake/La ragazza del lago swept the Italian Oscars with ten Davide di Donatello awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Actor (Servillo) and Best Screenplay. Shown at the Open Roads: New Italian Cinema series at Lincoln Center June 2008.

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