The Missing Star | Chicago Reader

The Missing Star

A contemporary Italian tries to reckon with the ascendant Chinese in this tasteful and scenic dramatic feature by Gianni Amelio (L?America, The Keys to the House). When a party of Chinese businessmen arrives at a closing steel mill in Italy to take possession of its blast furnace, a conscientious and now-unemployed maintenance man (Sergio Castellitto) tries without success to convince them that the furnace is structurally damaged. Following the new owners back to Asia, he engages a young translator he met in Italy (Tai Ling) to take him into southern China and finally on to the Yangtze River so he can avert a disaster. The lead characters' cross-cultural relationship is too muted to yield much emotionally or politically, but Amelio's languid pacing and Luca Bigazzi's landscape photography cast a spell. In Mandarin and Italian with subtitles. 106 min.

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