Three stories, one city. That’s the narrative conceit director Niccolò Castelli deploys in Tutti Giù. And to help whip it all together there’s the kinetic energy of pretty X-Games-style photography.

The movie’s three Italian-speaking Swiss protagonists can be identified by their passions. We have a skateboarder, an alpine skier and a graffiti artist. And each has issues that stem, more or less, from character flaws.

The skater can’t be honest with his friends about his need for a heart transplant; the skier finds her talent and potential crippled by the media’s demands; and the graffiti artist suffers from an almost total inability to talk to with people — even gorgeous women that are totally into him.

Castelli, the director, holds these threads together pretty well. But while he pulls off the over-all narrative, he doesn’t quite succeed in detail. The glibness of the dialog combined with the Ken-and-Barbie good looks of everyone involved give Tutti Giù a Hallmark movie aesthetic. And it’s particularly not becoming when one considers the movie’s subject matter — skateboards, spray paint, rock ‘n’ roll, skiing, sex.

The plot twist, I must say, got me. I didn’t see that coming. But a well-done story doesn’t make up for the awkwardness that exits in so many of Tutti Giù‘s pretty, European scenes.

Tutti Giù is playing today at the St. Anthony Main Theater at 7 p.m. Director Niccolò Castelli could be in attendance as he is at the festival.


Other Highlights: Saturday, April 27

(credit: The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

(credit: The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

In a World…. Lake Bell directs and stars in this American comedy about a vocal coach who strives to be a voice-over star, like her father. But when she lands her first gig, she finds that all of her work is still ahead of her. Between laughs, she battles sexism and the problems brought on by pride. The film also stars Demetri Martin, who is awesome. In English. (7:30 p.m.)

JÎn. When 17-year-old JÎn flees some kind of Turkish militia, she dreams of finding herself in the big city. But before she gets there, she has to dodge bullets in forest shoot-outs and navigate some extremely treacherous plains. Along the way, she builds relationships with animals —  a bird, a bear, a snake in a Jungle Book sort of way. By the end, director Reha Erdem shows us that dreams, like mirages, don’t usually make life easier when they’re reached. In Turkish, Kurdish. (3:50 p.m.; also playing on Sunday, April 28 at 4:05 p.m.)

The Discoverers. How can a history professor make a splash in his profession while also making things right with his estranged family? By taking a huge trek Lewis-and-Clark style across the United States. The movie follows this long-shot journey while engendering sympathy for its eccentric protagonist. (6:15 p.m.; also playing on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 p.m.)


For the festival schedule, and a complete listing of all the movies being shown, click here. Ticket information is available here.

Throughout the entirety of the 2013 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, we’ll be spotlighting one notable movie each day, along with other notable screenings. To see the WCCO Movie Blog’s complete coverage on the MSPIFF, click here.


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