Picks and Pans Review: Angelo My Love

updated 06/20/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/20/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Robert Duvall, who is currently starring in Tender Mercies and has recorded as many memorable performances as anyone around, is a fine actor. But as a director, he has a way to go. Not that this movie is all bad—it's just chaotic. The plot is slight: A drunken old gypsy is accused by a young gypsy boy of stealing his ring, an heirloom. The older man is acquitted at a gypsy trial, but the young boy and his brother spend most of the movie trying to prove that the verdict is wrong. That's not the worst premise in history. The problem is that we can never really tell whether this movie is a documentary or fiction—and things get even more confusing when real-life gypsies seem to be playing themselves. The movie really boils down to a showcase for the kid, Angelo Evans, a Duvall find from the streets of New York. He's something of a little bully, hollering and shouting at everyone in sight, but engaging nonetheless. And the glimpses into the gypsy community are truly astounding, the best since the slicker if less authentic King of the Gypsies in 1978. There's the drama of the community trial of the old gypsy and a stunning look at a feast day in Canada. In fact, the old man "defendant," played by a gypsy named Steve "Patalay" Tsigonoff, is the most interesting character on the screen, a potential movie all by himself. But the action around him just doesn't hold together. There's motion without direction, too much good intention and not enough execution. (R)

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