Quo Vadis, Baby? (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The title is a line from Last Tango in Paris: in this Italian thriller from the director of Mediterraneo, everybody speaks in film references - everybody except Giorgia, the heroine, a private detective who has set out to discover the truth behind her sister's suicide, 16 years ago. Giorgia never goes to the movies, and so doesn't realise that her lonely existence is an hommage to Chandler and Hammett. But where Brick really seems to absorb the genre's morals and conventions, and put them to new uses, this film does no more than refer to them. The characters are wan, the plot devoid of the density and unpredictability the genre demands.

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