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Critics' Picks

'Gomorrah'

February 12, 2009|Kenneth Turan

Five films are competing for the foreign language Oscar this year, but this terrific film from Italy, winner of both the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and the European Film Award, will inexplicably not be among them. It is a gangster film, but not the usual glamorizing kind. It is set not in Sicily but in Naples, where the Camorra rules the city and environs like an alternate government. Directed by Matteo Garrone and based on the groundbreaking book by Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, "Gomorrah" is a vividly panoramic film about a pitiless world of criminality -- a world where no human impulse or attempt at decency goes unpunished, a world where it's worth your life to get out alive. It is next door to criminal that this film didn't get a nomination. You owe it to yourself to see it on the big screen while you can.

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--Kenneth Turan

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