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Film Review: CABRINI (2024): Cristiana Dell’Anna Turns in a Strong Performance in This Moving Story of Determination

Cristiana Dell Anna Cabrini

Cabrini Review

Cabrini (2024) Film Review, a movie directed by Alejandro Monteverde, written by Rob Barr and Alejando Monteverde and starring Cristiana Dell’Anna, John Lithgow, David Morse, Giancarlo Giannini, Federico Castelluccio, Katherine Boecher, Jeremy Bobb, Romana Maggiora Vergano, Patch Darragh, Victoria Martzioff, Sean Cullen, Montserrat Espadale, Federico Ielapi, Madison Hammer, Lukas Behnken, Liam Campora and Tom Bauerle.

Cristiana Dell’Anna stars in director Alejandro Monteverde’s powerful, earnest and well-meaning drama, Cabrini, which will inspire audiences quite a bit even if some of the events in the movie which are portrayed as true may not have exactly happened the exact way they do in the picture. It would be almost impossible for every person of high authority in the world of Catholicism to turn down the requests of Mother Cabrini (Dell’Anna) and then be convinced to overturn their initial decision once Cabrini lashes back at a said decision. You don’t go to a movie like this for realism, though. You go to see it to be inspired. And inspire, it does.

According to the film, New York in the late 1880’s, Five Points, in particular, was where life was not good for its residents, children in particular. “Even the rats had it better” is the theme a reporter takes on in his newspaper essay about this neighborhood where poverty ran rampant. Mother Cabrini set out to change these conditions with a little help from her religious friends. Cabrini led a team of women who changed the outlook for many who were suffering during the time Cabrini worked towards giving charity to those who needed her assistance.

In one scene, a child is given the option to steal a few loaves of bread from Cabrini or go alongside her to a table to eat a wonderful, fulfilling meal. One child named Paolo (Federico Ielapi) opted for the better deal and took Cabrini up on her offer while the other boy just took the bread by itself. This is an example of how Cabrini led and managed to integrate her itinerary into the world one step at a time. She let others see the benefits of what she had to give those who could certainly gain from what she was doing in terms of helping the less fortunate.

Cabrini declared the world wasn’t big enough to adapt to what she wanted to do with her life and the plans which she had. Cabrini was a woman of inspiration whose ideals were shot down a lot by those in powerful positions. Cabrini was a religious woman but also a sick one who was limited by the time she had left to live. One doctor had told her she would live for several more years but another makes it clear that she may not even have that much time left on Earth.

In the picture, Cabrini befriend a prostitute named Vittoria (terrifically played by Romana Maggiora Vergano). Vittoria’s pimp comes after her and ends up getting shot by a kid. Vittoria suffers for the life she has chosen to live but Cabrini teaches her there are other ways to live a fruitful life and the bond these two women form is an interesting one as it is portrayed in the movie. Vergano has some scenes that should help earn her more film roles in the future.

John Lithgow also appears as an opponent to Cabrini’s efforts. Lithgow’s Mayor Gould isn’t the most well-written character although he may well reflect the ideas of the time the movie is set. Lithgow revels in his performance and chews into his part in what may well be his most interesting screen work in years. Dell’Anna and Lithgow share a particularly solid scene together midway through the film although the movie isn’t big enough to do more with these compelling characters than what it ends up doing with them.

David Morse as Archbishop Corrigan and Giancarlo Giannini as Pope Leo XIII are two of the characters who, even more than Lithgow’s character, exemplify what doesn’t always make sense about Cabrini. All these characters, in one way or another seem to put up a resistance to Cabrini’s plans initially but then cave in when she stands up to them. It feels like there must have been more going on in the real story than what meets the eyes in the movie because it seems too good to be true even if Cabrini was really that influential as a woman.

Cabrini is the type of movie that an audience can really enjoy and be won over by. There are a lot of characters who are cruel and try to step in Cabrini’s way. The fact that Cabrini’s efforts paved the way for health care for the needy as well as food and housing for the poor Is simply inspirational and the movie takes on the themes it does fearlessly. Most people who mess with Cabrini are put in their place in one way or another at some point in the film…and deservedly so.

The performance by Dell’Anna essentially makes the movie a success in the end. She’s no-nonsense, determined and goes after her goals which helps make us understand why she was so admired. Even the men who challenged her couldn’t really live up to the ideals set by Mother Cabrini, no matter how hard they tried. Then, there’s the ending which is both touching and inspirational and may want to make some viewers proud that a fierce, kind-hearted woman like Cabrini actually existed. Though the movie may not always be historically accurate, it is still a good film.

Rating: 7/10

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