Golden Door

Rated 3.0

Around 1900, a Sicilian widower (Vincenzo Amato), his sons (Francesco Casisa, Filippo Pucillo) and his querulous mother (Aurora Quattrocchi) set out from their rock-and-superstition-bound home for America, lured by tales of rivers of milk and gold coins growing on trees. Writer-director Emanuele Crialese sets a leisurely, almost languorous pace—while maintaining an anxious air of mystery about the New World and what the family has let itself in for. Cinematographer Agnès Godard’s camera caresses every moment, and Crialese leavens the story with flashes of something like magical realism. He also punctuates the film with a handful of 1960s vintage pop tunes that sound oddly appropriate in this milieu. The multilingual Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a mysterious Englishwoman who catches the widower’s eye.