Glass Boy [Glassboy] — St. Ali Italian Film Festival 2021


Pino Gambassi (Andrea Arru) would seem to have everything an 11-year-old boy could want.  He lives in an elaborate villa in which he has all kinds of fascinating things to engage him.  But Pino lacks one of the most important things in life — friends.  Suffering from a form of haemophilia, he is at risk of bleeding to death should he find himself even mildly injured, so he is confined to his home.

Through his window, Pino can watch the Piazza Vecchia Gang race bikes and generally have fun.  He wants nothing more than to join them, even to go to school with them.  But even the slightest breakage of the rules meets fierce retaliation from Pino’s grandmother, Nonna Helena (Loretta Goggi).

Can Pino overcome his shyness and make friends with the forbidden Piazza Vecchia Gang, and can the band help him escape to live a normal life?

Glass Boy is a heart-warming family movie for all children over perhaps 7 years of age.  It’s a story of courage, kindness, loyalty, and the power of friendship to overcome loneliness and adversity.

All performances are excellent, but Rosa Barbolini as Mavi, Stefano Trapuzzano as Ciccio, and Mia Pomelari as Mei Ping are marvellous as the members of the Piazza Vecchia Gang, and Andrea Arru as Pino displays huge talent.

A real treat for the family, Glass Boy will leave you with a smile on your face, and children are sure to feel heartened by the thought of what children can do in the face of apparently insurmountable odds.

Screening at Palace cinemas.

— MICHELE E. HAWKINS

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