The Keys To The House review

The premise of The Keys To The House makes you fear the sentimental worst: a father, Gianni (Kim Rossi Stuart), attempts to bond with the physically and psychologically disabled teenage son, Paolo (Andrea Rossi), who he hasn't set eyes on since birth. Italian writer-director Gianni Amelio, however, steers clear of lachrymose speeches, swelling orchestral music and phoney redemption to probe away at the ambivalent feelings of parents towards their handicapped offspring.

Shooting with a deliberate drabness, Amelio concentrates on the gestures, touches and appearances of his characters in their everyday interactions. And while it's hard to judge to what extent Stuart is `acting' in the role of the uncertain father, he does manage to bring out the jubilant, the charming and the sometimes exasperating sides of his vibrant character.

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