Golden Door (Nuovomondo)
This was the official website for the 2006 movie, Golden Door (Nuovomondo).
Content is from outside movie review sources.
Director: Emanuele Crialese
Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vincenzo Amato, Francesco Casisa, Ernesto Mahieux, Andrea Prodan
In Theaters: May 25, 2007 Wide
On Disc/Streaming: Jan 8, 2008
Golden Door (2006) Nuovomondo - Trailer
From the internationally acclaimed director of Respiro, winner of the Cannes Critic's Week Award in 2002, Golden Door is a moving yet unsentimental film of mythic resonance which tells the story of the early years of mass Italian immigration to the United States.
TOMATOMETER CRITICS 73% | AUDIENCE 69%
A family living in poverty leaves behind the world they know in hope of finding new opportunities in this historical drama from director Emanuele Crialese. The Mancusos are a family struggling to make ends meet in a small farming community in Sicily in 1913. Life has long been hard for the Mancuso Family, who have lived in the same village for generations, and one day they are visited by a man who claims to be from the United States. The man tells them of the wonder and plenty of life in America, an offers to make it possible for them to travel to the New World and find work there. The Mancusos cautiously accept the offer, but after a dangerous voyage aboard an ocean liner, the family arrives in New York to face a number of new challenges -- the humiliating examination at Ellis Island, and abandoning their old lives and ways as they struggle to assimilate in a massive city that is now their home. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Francesco Casisa and Vincenzo Amato, The Golden Door (aka Nuovomondo) received its world premier at the 2006 Venice Film Festival.
ROTTEN TOMATO AUDIENCE REVIEWS
***½ Samy T April 22, 2010
My family was spending a week in Maui during my sister's and my spring break. It was the first time we didn't stay in a hotel. My parents opting to book one of the really nice Kaanapali condo rentals that were available during this period. Our place was on a high floor of the building overlooking the amazing Kaanapali beach where we spent a good deal of our time. My sister and I like to surf so we rented boards for the entire week. We also snorkeled at one end of the beach near what is called Black Rock.
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One evening my mother was looking at the stack of CD's that were available and found The Golden Door. Let's face it, it's not the type of movie I would normally watch, but I decided to chill with the rest of the family so we settled down with snacks and tropical drinks. I do happen to like history and we do live in NYC so I was interested in the immigrant/ Ellis Island thing. My folks thought that the attention to detail in the characters and settings made the film a pleasure to watch, although, quite honestly the story itself is told as slowly as the boat journey that gets them to Ellis Island. For me. the Ellis Island section of the Golden Door was the most fascinating part of this film. We have Sicilian ancestors so this movie was a great window into their experience. My sister thought the ending shot was pretty epic!
** Private U December 27, 2007
Crialese follows Respiro with another Sicilian-set film. Fellini-meets-the-Taviani-Brothers in a rather reduntant and dull film, whose only saving grace is the beautiful set design. Amato is fine, Gainsbourg is not.
***½ Nadav A December 24, 2007
Not bad but could be better. Interesting story and strong characters/acting, but some strange directing decisions.
*½ Pippa B December 23, 2007
I found this rather uneventful...although as a documentary of the processes early immigrants to the US went through it was quite intresting.
***½ Seán S December 21, 2007
I thought it was very well done. Photography was stunning as well as the acting. The story was also very well done
***** Private U December 20, 2007
Crialese is a difficult filmmaker to get to terms with, and so is this film. The first half challenges the viewer to sit through the first half of the film with almost no dialogue, and then opens up. It demands your full attention, your intellect and your whole heart, and if you're prepared to give thath, then this is a modern masterpiece. It takes balls to make something like this.
**½ Rich B December 17, 2007
Overall disappointing. Excellent in places but never really takes you anywhere...
**½ Private U December 16, 2007
A rather odd film with moments of surreal brilliance - swimming through milk with a giant carrot - but not massively satisfying
**** Private U December 10, 2007
"Dobbiamo sapere se siete buoni per entrare nel nuovomondo"
**½ Kris V December 10, 2007
Nice time spender. But in some moments to unequal and unbelievable. They really should have got more out of it.
***Private U December 10, 2007
sweet little film that felt slightly out of kilter in parts
** Violaine E December 9, 2007
I'm all for artsy fartsy films that take their time, really I actually enjoy it, but except for the documentary side of how immigrants were"greeted" on Ellis Island I had to fast forward it was soooo boring!
****½ Yael K December 7, 2007
Impressive opening scene, intersting film about the experience of immigration to America from Sisely, Italy. Loved it.
**** Ramy S December 4, 2007
No matter how shiny that door into the new world looked, don't even try to imagine what's behind until you are close enough.
***** Ruth S December 1, 2007
a beautiful and sensitive portrayal of the plight of the immigrant. Also some unusual and tantalizing camera shots that make you think.
****Brad F November 28, 2007
I liked the part where they all in the getting their photograph taken and the the english woman slowly walks into to frame. The way the family is staring at her as she walks away again was classic. I realay enjoyed this movie. I thought the characters in the film were so believable too, the way they all had dirt under there nails. Very well made.
**** Cynthia R November 26, 2007
Fun to see an art-house film. It was unlike anything I've seen before- it actually left me surprised at how much I liked it. The script was also written very well with a good cast of actors and some minor artsy-like moments making it that much more unique. Thank god for this movie- for I was looking for a sigh of good cinema relief since my run in with some low-quality big summer blockbusters. It was one of those movies that god me so interested, I ended it with my mouth open from amazement. Well done.
*** ½ Dan S November 22, 2007
Crialese's eye for an arresting image and a lovely performance from lead Vincenzo Amato make Golden Door one of the unsung art-house films of the year.
*** Simon C November 21, 2007
Unlike anything I have seen before. Strange yet engaging with occasional, unexpected "rivers of milk with giant vegetables" scenes!
*** ½ Pondering T November 18, 2007
It is avious at times when watching movies that budgets dictate what a movie can do and where it can go in its depiction of what it is trying to say on screen. Watching the Italian director Emanuele Crialese's film Nuovomondo (Golden Door) I could not help but get the feel that here we had a director that was working on a very tight and limited budget. In a testiment to that (and his abilities) I found that what I saw as limitations in budget actually worked to his advantage in the way the movie was shot and actual helped to elevate this film to me. Here we have a film that is, in its close up visual study unlike most other films you will probably see this year.
Golden Door is a very ... intimate... film. Intimate in a way that gives very little in scenes but a close up shot of the person (s) one is seeing in each scene. There are very limited sweeping shots (limited exclusively to a few at the beginning of the film), but for me, this gave the feel a much more personal feel and helped me to feel much more like I was one of those people there with them, stuck in the hole of that ship or waiting day after day in a building on an island only minutes from what I dreamed would be a better life. While perhaps frustrating to some (we never see any shots of New York, the statue of liberty, etc), for me it was the fact that we did not see them that made this a more real and urgent tale to me. The boats often travelled on by those millions of immigrants must have been crowded and dark, and the idea of heading to a place and wanting it so badly (sight unseen) is really pushed home here. There are many whom (as the film depicts) never made it past the walls of ellis island, never set foot on their beloved goal and never got to see what it was they sacrificed so much for. I like the fact that this was showcased so vividly in the closeness and confining way this film did.
Salvatore is a widower with two sons (one assumed mute) and a superstitious old mother set in her ways, that decides to forge a better life for him and his family (like so many others through time) in America. Upon reaching the boat that they will travel on from Italy, he is befriended ( more like somewhat highjacked) by an English women, Lucy, whom pretends to be travelling with the family to America (why she is in Italy in the first place or what her true thoughts and real intentions were about most things are never really addressed or explored at all here). She must find a husband before she reaches the United STates and so it is agreed that Salvatore (whom actually does take a liking to her) will marry her. Character development is non existent in this story, and little of the history or (in the case of Lucy) the reasons for heading to America are ever looked at, but in some ways that was okay with me. This was a movie whose sole focus was to showcase what it must have been like, and what many had to go through to make their dream of a better life reality.
After a slow start the movie does begin to pick up pace and it is when the ship sails and the subsequent arrival at Ellis Island and the processes which persons must go through (some of which I was not fully aware of before seeing this film) that help to bring an interest to this story.
As mentioned before, shots are intimate and close, but often moving. Scenes like the storm when the ship is rocked and tossed and the poor are locked into their below deck "garrison" to fend for themselves till it is over, or the daily marching around ellis to a battery of test to determine if one is smart enough to mix with the general American population. Or the hundreds of women, courted for marriage by men whom they have never met, sitting across from them in a room picked out like cattle at an early morning auction (but they allow themselves to be treated in such was to bring themselves a better life) are interesting to watch and give us the viewer a small glimpse of what it must have been like for many whom first came across the ocean and arrived at Ellis Island. I especially enjoyed the scene where a group of men (led by Salvadore) see a window high up not frosted over, and in a vain attempt to actually get a glimpse of the prize they are all there for (upon their arrival at Ellis Island on the boat it was so foggy no one could see anything.. another smart move to solve a problem of budget as well as very in keeping with the general idea of confinment) climb on each others shoulders only to be stopped by guards at the very moment they were to just about get that first look.
Director Crialese never once wavered from what I saw as his desire to keep his character (and us) totally confined and controlled, and for that I think he set a mood for his film that was probably the best thing about it.
This is not a movie that is trying to make a larger, grander point, (although his characters, more the women ones, do question some of the actions of the guards and the need for and ideas behind some of the tests administered on the island), more it is just a movie about the experiences of this one family (and the stranger they met) as they tried to make their way to a new life. This is a story told millions of times through the years, and one that continues to be told millions of times in a million different ways.
As a Sunday afternoon matinee, I would recommend this film. Slow moving as it is, and limited (as mentioned before) by its budget, it is a film that ultimately was, to me, engrossing and interesting. This is a movie that could be told again and again and again, and one I have seen done many times before. What kept this one fresh and of interest to me was (as mentioned) the confining aspects of it in a visual sense of the idea, and the wonderment .... right up to the very last scene of what will come next. We never find out and we never see the prize, but then sometimes in life that goal is never reached, or when it is it may not be what we thought or imagined it to be when we first set out in our quest.