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Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: When acclaimed actor-director John Turturro was invited to make a film about Neapolitan music he was intrigued, as an Italian-American who’d grown up with many of the swooning ballads that had become popularized. But when he revisited the place from where these songs had come, and met theWhen acclaimed actor-director John Turturro was invited to make a film about Neapolitan music he was intrigued, as an Italian-American who’d grown up with many of the swooning ballads that had become popularized. But when he revisited the place from where these songs had come, and met the artists living there carrying on the tradition, he was completely blown away. Preconceived ideas evaporated and what was meant to be a straight-ahead
    documentary transformed into a wild fantasia, an adventure into the vibrations of history. In the film’s 23 songs, you can hear the cultures of the city’s many invaders, the Greeks, Arabs, French, Spanish, Normans, and Americans. Eight centuries echo in the aqueducts in “The Song of the Washerwomen.” In “Tammuriata Nera,” WWII is relived as Al Dexter’s
    twang collides with the primal roar of Peppe Barra. “O Sole Mio” becomes blend of goldenage television performances and the North African vibe, and “Malafemmena” is portrayed for the first time in all its irony, in the context of its very inspiration. The song “Vesuvio” is performed only as it can be by those who live at the foot of the volcano bearing that name.
    Each song, whether written in protest or superstition, out of love, jealousy, or poverty, is an emotional postcard about what has changed and what has not. As we see, a solitary voice on the street can cause an entire intersection to break out into song. Passione is Turturro’s
    celebration of a city intensely alive. He has let the film come directly out of the people, the walls that surround them, and the land they inhabit. (Beta Cinema)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Jul 21, 2011
    90
    A beautifully structured and photographed film, John Turturro's rapturous Passione offers a vibrant exploration and celebration of Neapolitan music in all its grit and glory, presenting 23 musical numbers that encompass a millennium's worth of influences.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 30, 2011
    88
    There's a freedom in his structure. This isn't a formal documentary, but as I mentioned, a meander.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 21, 2011
    80
    While Passione praises the spirit of its subjects, it also attends to the discipline and tenacity that makes them worth noticing.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 21, 2011
    75
    Subtitled "a musical adventure," the actor-director's love letter to some 800 years of Neapolitan expression probes its subject with a wide romantic outlook.
  5. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Dec 1, 2011
    70
    Actor John Turturro follows his charming and colorful travel documentary "Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy" (2009) with this assured and freewheeling look at the music of Naples (2010).
  6. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jul 14, 2011
    67
    In some regards, watching Passione is like being cornered by actor John Turturro and forced to watch a slide show of his trip to Italy.
  7. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Jun 21, 2011
    50
    Works best when its director tamps down his impulse to enhance the performances with florid narratives, focusing on just the singer and the song.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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