The Space Between
Falvio Parenti, Maeve Dermody
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…a feel good film for the winter.
The first film to come out of the Australia/Italy co-production treaty, The Space Between is also the feature length directorial debut of Ruth Borgobello. Set in the picturesque city of Udine, Falvio Parenti plays Marco, a factory worker who moonlights as a chef. When tragedy strikes, Marco finds himself unable to cope and turns his back on his dreams. A chance meeting with Melbournite Olivia (Maeve Dermody) sparks something inside him and the movie follows the pair as they each realise their dreams.
Some may balk at the idea of another film in which the female protagonist supports the male through his troubles, but in reality, The Space Between sidesteps this issue, with Borgobello giving the trope a good old twist. Refusing to move on with his own life, Marco channels his energies into helping Olivia understand her true potential. Yes, perhaps the audience knows where this is all leading to, but they’re never dragged there under duress. Parenti and Dermody lead to an organic growth of mutual understanding, with each coyly ribbing the other for their foibles. As their lives entwine further, the weight of the story becomes more balanced between the two than you’d first expect.
Carefully paced, with a script that remains subtle for the most part, The Space Between is a visual feast for the eyes with an extraordinary use of colour seen in the film’s opening dream sequence, right through to the eye-catching end credits. The Italian countryside has never really needed assistance to show of its wares, but under Bogobello’s hand it becomes something else.
Hoping to pin down the hopeless romantic in us all, The Space Between might not be wholly original, but its warmth and exuberance mitigates this, allowing for a feel good film for the winter.