In flashes, the World War II saga "Miracle at St. Anna " reminds you of the necessity and invention of
director Spike Lee.
He may shoot this feature, like many before it, every which way, but he scores just
often enough to ensure a few indelible images.
Among them are a towering overhead shot of two dusty Louisiana roads, providing a literal crossroads for
a car full of African-American soldiers about to head overseas; a helmet floating down river near a
carnage-strewn battlefield in Italy; a prayer montage, reminding us, efficiently, that prejudice whips
up a torrent of bloody differences where there really aren't any, under the skin.
Around the midpoint of "Miracle at St. Anna" two of the four main characters, behind enemy lines and separated from the rest of the Army's Negro 92nd Division -- the Buffalo Soldiers by nickname -- mingle with the Tuscan locals in the village of St. Anna di Stazzema, at a nighttime celebration. The correlating passage in McBride's novel has Sgt. Stamps (Derek Luke in the film) observe: "They got it, he thought. They understood it. Love. Food. Passion. Life's short. Pass me a cigarette. Gimme that grappa. Live a little. They were like coloreds without the jook joints." The way Lee shoots this scene, the actors take a breath and connect with the deeper recesses of the material. And for a few minutes "Miracle at St. Anna" really does feel like an intimate epic.
It's maddening, then, that so much of the picture, which stretches novelist James McBride's trim 290-or-so-page novel out to 2 hours and 46 minutes, cancels out the good stuff. Half the time I wasn't sure what Lee was going for in terms of tone, or style, or focus. It was a tricky assignment to begin with, because McBride's novel, and his screenplay, is part socio-historical corrective, part magical-realist folklore, part wartime procedural. But too much of "Miracle at St. Anna" feels like parts and pieces from other movies. The rhythm is lurching, uncertain. In the book, McBride whipped through the prologue, setting everything up in less than three pages. On-screen, Lee and company seem to take forever with it.
The 1944 Tuscany part of the story follows four African-American soldiers who survive a brutal ambush waged by the Nazis, little thanks to the worst of their Anglo superiors who don't want any part of the Buffalo Soldiers. Luke's taciturn, grave-looking Stamps is joined by angelic, childlike Sam Train (Omar Benson Miller); radio operator Cpl. Negron (Laz Alonzo); and lecherous, smooth-talking Sgt. Cummings (Michael Ealy). When Train saves an orphan boy (Matteo Sciabordi) after the Germans shell an abandoned farmhouse, the men come into contact with the villagers of St. Anna, represented, in "dishy wartime romance" terms, by Renata (Velentina Cervi).
Lee casts a wide net, as McBride deals with the anti-Mussolini rebel known as "the Great Butterfly" (played by Pierfrancesco Favino, in the film's most conventionally heroic role). Much is made of the precious Italianate statuary found in the Harlem apartment of one the main characters, who settles an old score in the 1983 prologue. The character is first seen watching John Wayne win World War II on TV (he's watching "The Longest Day"), angrily. Another whitewash job, he mutters. "Miracle at St. Anna" is designed to set straight one part of a vast historical record.
When you recall Lee's finest documentaries, notably "4 Little Girls" and "When the Levees Broke," you realize that the subjects themselves were only half the reason for the success. Lee doesn't put all his elaborate, try-anything techniques on the shelf when he does a documentary, but he's more sparing and purposeful about his visual attack. And that's what "Miracle at St. Anna" desperately lacks: selectivity. The acting is in one key (some egregiously overstated); the battle scenes carry undeniable power, but composer Terence Blanchard hits all the crashing climaxes as if it's D-Day and he's hitting the beach with 101 strings, with 102 brass instruments right behind. And no, I don't like it any better when John Williams goes for the throat that way.
MPAA rating: R (for strong war violence, language and some sexual content/nudity).
Running time: 2:46.
Starring: Derek Luke (Sgt. Aubrey Stamps); Michael Ealy (Sgt. Bishop Cummings); Laz Alonso (Corp. Hector Negron); Omar Benson Miller (Sam Train); Matteo Sciabordi (Angelo); Pierfrancesco Favino (Peppi Grotta); Valentina Cervi (Renata); John Turturro (Det. Ricci); Kerry Washington (Zana Wilder).
Directed by Spike Lee; written by James McBride, based on his novel; photographed by Matthew Libatique; edited by Barry Alexander Brown; music by Terence Blanchard; production design by Tonino Zera; produced by Roberto Cicutto, Luigi Musini and Spike Lee. A Touchstone Pictures release.
"Miracle at Saint Anna" Movie Trailer
About the Film "Miracle at Saint Anna"
The story of four African-American soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army as part of the all-black 92nd
Buffalo Soldier Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy, during World War II. They experience the tragedy and
triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after
one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.
"Miracle at St. Anna" is a gripping World War II epic that chronicles the story of four African-American soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army as part of the all-black 92nd Division Buffalo Soldiers stationed in Tuscany, Italy, during World War II. They experience the tragedy and triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.
Directed by Spike Lee from a screenplay written by James McBride, the author of the acclaimed novel of the same name, the film is produced by Lee, Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini.
Executive producers are Marco Valerio Pugini and Jon Kilik. The director of photography is Matthew
Libatique and the production designer is Tonino Zera. Barry Alexander Brown is editor and Carlo Poggioli serves
as costume designer. Internationally renowned jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer Terence Blanchard created
the score. "Miracle at St. Anna" is presented by Touchstone Pictures in association with On My Own Produzioni Cinematografiche and Rai Cinema.
"It’s a World War II film —- a brutal mystery that deals with historic events and the stark
reality of war," says Lee. "But it’s also a lyrical, mystical story of compassion and love."
DEREK LUKE ("Antwone Fisher," "Pieces of April") stars as Staff Sergeant Aubrey
Stamps, MICHAEL EALY ("Barbershop," "Their Eyes Were Watching God") is Sergeant
Bishop Cummings, LAZ ALONSO ("Stomp the Yard," "Jarhead") plays Corporal Hector
Negron, and OMAR BENSON MILLER ("The Express," "8 Mile," "Transformers") portrays
Sam Train, the ‘chocolate giant’ with a big heart who befriends an Italian boy played by
newcomer MATTEO SCIABORDI. Also among the cast are JOHN TURTURRO ("The Good
Shepherd," "Barton Fink"), JOHN LEGUIZAMO ("The Happening," "Moulin Rouge!"),
About the Cast "Miracle at Saint Anna"
DEREK LUKE (Aubrey Stamps) was introduced to audiences
worldwide in 2002’s highly revered drama "Antwone Fisher," in
which he starred as the title character in Denzel Washington’s
directorial debut. Luke earned several awards and accolades for his
performance, including a Black Reel Award for Best Actor, and an
Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. He also earned a BET
Award in 2003 for Favorite Actor.
In 2003, Luke co-starred in a number of diverse roles. He starred
opposite Laurence Fishburne in "Biker Boyz," and in the critically
acclaimed independent film "Pieces of April" with Katie Holmes. In
2004, Luke was tapped by director David Mamet for a starring role in the political thriller
"Spartan," alongside Val Kilmer and William H. Macy. Luke starred in "Friday Night Lights,"
a film directed by Peter Berg and produced by Brian Grazer.
In 2006, Luke appeared in "Glory Road," which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. He
also co-starred with Tim Robbins in "Catch a Fire" for director Phillip Noyce.
Last year, Luke appeared alongside Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise in
"Lions for Lambs," directed by Redford. This year, in addition to "Miracle at St. Anna," he
had a supporting role in the romantic comedy "Definitely, Maybe."
In early 2009, Luke stars as Sean "Diddy" Combs in the Fox Searchlight bio-pic
"Notorious" about the slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. The film, directed by George Tillman Jr.,
was executive produced by Sean Combs and tells the life story of this popular Brooklyn rapper
who was gunned down in Los Angeles on March 25, 1997.
Luke recently wrapped Tyler Perry’s next film "Madea Goes to Jail," loosely based on the
Atlanta stage production of the same name. He plays a lawyer who must choose between the
two women he loves.
From his breakout roles in "Barbershop" and "Barbershop 2," MICHAEL EALY (Bishop Cummings) is quickly rising through the ranks as one of Hollywood’s leading young actors.
He stars in "Seven Pounds," opposite Will Smith, and will also be seen in the upcoming docu-miniseries "The People Speak," based
on Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book. Ealy recently starred in the
Showtime miniseries "Sleeper Cell," in which he portrayed an undercover Muslim FBI agent. He earned a Golden Globe®
nomination for his performance.
In 2005, Ealy was handpicked by Oprah Winfrey to star opposite
Halle Berry in the ABC and Harpo Films telepic "Their Eyes Were Watching God." The
special received rave reviews and was viewed by more than 26 million people. Ealy earned an
NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Miniseries or
Dramatic Special for his performance.
Ealy kicked off his career on stage with roles in off-Broadway hits "Joe Fearless" and
"Whoa Jack," for which he earned an Adelco Award nomination. He followed with guest starring
roles in NBC’s "Law & Order" and Showtime’s hit series "Soul Food," eventually
earning his first feature film role in the critically acclaimed film "Kissing Jessica Stein." He
also starred in "Bad Company" alongside Chris Rock for producer Jerry Bruckheimer. His
role in "Barbershop" earned him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding
Motion Picture, as well as a People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture.
His credits also include the films "Never Die Alone," "2 Fast 2 Furious," and a stint on the
Emmy Award®-winning series "ER" for NBC.
Ealy was named one of People magazine’s "On the Verge" actors in its 2002 "Sexiest Man
Alive" issue. He was also named one of E! Entertainment Television’s "Sizzlin’ 16" of 2004
and appeared on the cover of Essence magazine’s "Hollywood Screen Gems" for their April 2004 issue.
Dynamic, talented and charismatic actor LAZ ALONSO (Hector Negron) is a star on the rise with notable film and television credits.
Alonso recently landed the lead role in the fourth installment of
"The Fast and the Furious" franchise. He also stars opposite Danny
Glover in the upcoming independent feature "Por Vida." Next year,
Alonso is set to star alongside Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver
in the 3-D sci-fi epic "Avatar," directed by James Cameron.
Alonso graduated from the prestigious Howard University
School of Business with a BBA in Marketing. After college, he
worked on Wall Street as an investment banker. He eventually started his own marketing
business with some partners. The company promoted mainstream products to the
urban/trendsetting market. Owning and operating his own successful business freed up
Alonso’s time to explore his passion for acting. He began taking classes in the evening to hone
his craft, and it didn’t take him long to begin landing roles in commercials and videos.
His movie credits include lead roles in the hits "Stomp the Yard" and "This Christmas," a
lead role in the 2006 Roland Joffe psychological thriller "Captivity," and an ensemble lead role
in the 2005 hit "Jarhead," opposite Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx, Jake Gyllenhaal and
Alonso’s TV credits include guest-starring roles on "The Unit," "Bones," "CSI: Miami,"
"The Practice" and "Navy: NCIS."
OMAR BENSON MILLER
OMAR BENSON MILLER (Sam Train) was just finishing his
dramatic studies at San Jose University when he landed his first
movie role in "Sorority Boys" for Walt Disney Studios. It was,
however, his role in "8 Mile" that opened doors for him in Hollywood.
Early in his career, Miller starred in HBO’s "Undefeated," an
urban drama starring John Leguizamo. He next shined as Vern,
who—along with Richard Gere—learned the art of ballroom
dancing from Jennifer Lopez in "Shall We Dance?"
Miller’s film credits include Jim Sheridan’s "Get Rich or Die
Tryin’" with Terrence Howard and 50 Cent; 2007’s "Lucky You," starring Robert Duvall and
Drew Barrymore; "Things We Lost in the Fire," co-starring Halle Berry; and the blockbuster
hit "Transformers" for director Michael Bay. Also on the big screen, Miller starred in "The
Express," a true story about the first African-American player to win the Heisman Trophy. He
also stars in the upcoming "Blood Done Sign My Name," based on a true story about a teacher
and his struggle to organize a legendary civil rights march.
He is particularly proud of his independent film "Gordon Glass," which he wrote, produced
PIERFRANCESCO FAVINO (Peppi ‘The Great Butterfly’ Grotta) stars in Ron Howard’s upcoming "Angels & Demons"
alongside Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor. Favino recently starred
in director Andrew Adamson’s "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince
Caspian," a film based on the book by C.S. Lewis.
A native of Rome, Italy, he graduated from the Silvio d’Amico
National Drama Academy before honing his craft at the Teatro di
Roma under the direction of Luca Ronconi. Favino started his career
in the theatre (directed by such renowned Italian artists as Ronconi
and Gigi Proietti) before making his film debut in the 1995 boxing drama "Pugili," directed by Lino Capolicchio.
Over the past decade, Favino has showcased his versatility in both drama and comedy in
films directed by a host of new, young Italian filmmakers, including Luigi Magni ("La
Carbonara"), Marco Bellocchio ("Il Principe di Homburg," a Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or
nominee), Gabriele Muccino ("L’Ultimo bacio," Audience Award, 2002 Sundance Film
Festival; David di Donatello nominee, Best Film), Giuseppe Tornatore ("La Sconosciuta"),
Francesco Apolloni ("La Verità, vi prego, sull'amore"), Gianni Amelio ("Le Chiavi di casa,"
Pasinetti Award, 2004 Venice Film Festival) and Michele Placido ("Romanzo criminale").
Favino also co-starred as Christopher Columbus in the megahit American comedy, "Night at
He won the David di Donatello Award for his supporting turn as ‘The Lebanese,’ a ruthless
gangster bent on conquering Rome’s crime world, in "Romanzo criminale," which received 14
total nominations, including one for Best Film. Favino also won the Nastro d’Argento Award
as Best Actor for his performance, and earned another nomination as Best Supporting Actor
for his work in "Le chiavi di casa." He collected his first nomination for Italy’s prestigious
Donatello prize for his supporting role of a World War II soldier fighting in Africa in "El
Alamein," directed by Enzo Monteleone.
VALENTINA CERVI (Renata) is the granddaughter of Gino
Cervi, one of the greatest Italian cinema and theatre actors.
In 1995, Jane Campion tapped Cervi to star alongside Nicole
Kidman and John Malkovich in "The Portrait of a Lady," a film
based on the novel by Henry James. Cervi was next cast as
Artemisia Gentileschi in the French film "Artemisia" by Agnes
Merlet. The film, chronicling the life of the great 17th century
painter, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award® as Best Foreign
Language Film. In 2000, Cervi was nominated as Best New Actress
(meilleure espoire feminine) in the French César Awards for her
performance in Pascal Bonitzer’s "Rien sur Robert."
Cervi has worked in a host of films in England, France and Italy, for directors including
Mike Figgis, Peter Greenaway, Pupi Avati and Sergio Rubini, among others. Her credits
include several independent movies and television productions, including Mark Rydell’s
"James Dean: An Invented Life" with James Franco, and Robert Dornhelm’s "War and Peace"
with Brenda Blethyn and Malcolm McDowell.
Newcomer MATTEO SCIABORDI (Angelo / The Boy) makes his feature-film debut in "Miracle at St. Anna."
Sciabordi is a 4th grader from Nodica, Italy. Like most 9-yearolds,
he likes to play with friends and his PlayStation. He has two
turtles, two Peruvian guinea pigs and a 14-year-old sister.
His favorite subject in school is math and he recently began taking hip-hop classes.
JOHN TURTURRO (Detective Ricci) studied at the Yale
School of Drama. For his theatrical debut, he created the title role of
John Patrick Shanley’s "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea," for which
he won an Obie Award and a Theatre World Award. Since then,
Turturro has performed on stage in "Waiting for Godot," in the title
role of Bertolt Brecht’s "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," and in
Eduardo De Filippo’s "Souls of Naples," for which he was
nominated for a Drama Desk Award. He recently performed at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Samuel Beckett’s "Endgame."
Turturro has performed in more than 60 films, including Spike Lee’s "She Hate Me,"
"Summer of Sam," "He Got Game," "Girl 6," "Clockers," "Jungle Fever," "Mo’ Better Blues"
and "Do the Right Thing." Other films include Martin Scorsese’s "The Color of Money," Tony
Bill’s "Five Corners," Robert Redford’s "Quiz Show," Peter Weir’s "Fearless," Tom DiCillo’s
"Box of Moonlight," Francesco Rosi’s "La Tregua" and Joel and Ethan Coen’s "Miller’s
Crossing," "Barton Fink," "The Big Lebowski" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" For his
lead role in "Barton Fink," he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the
David di Donatello Award.
For his work on television, Turturro was nominated for a SAG Award® for his portrayal of
Howard Cosell in "Monday Night Mayhem" and won an Emmy® for his guest appearance on
the hit series "Monk." He was also nominated for a SAG Award for his portrayal of Billy Martin in ESPN’s "The Bronx Is Burning."
Most recently, he appeared in Robert De Niro’s "The Good Shepherd," Michael Bay’s
"Transformers," Noah Baumbach’s "Margot at the Wedding" and Barry Levinson’s "What Just
Happened?" He recently completed filming on Columbia Pictures’ "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" opposite Denzel Washington and John Travolta.
Turturro has directed three films. His directorial debut, "Mac," won the Camera d' Or at the
Cannes Film Festival. He also directed "Illuminata" and "Romance & Cigarettes," starring
James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet.
Despite his young age, JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (Tim
Boyle) has already distinguished himself with a wide range of
performances in both television and film. He was last seen starring
in Kimberly Peirce’s war drama "Stop-Loss," opposite Ryan
Phillippe, Channing Tatum and Abbie Cornish. Upcoming projects
include John Madden’s "Killshot" with Diane Lane and Mickey
Rourke, and David Siegel and Scott McGehee’s romantic
drama/improv film "Uncertainty." Gordon-Levitt recently wrapped
work on the Stephen Sommers-helmed live-action film version of
the classic comic book "G.I. JOE," and is currently shooting the Fox
Searchlight romantic comedy "500 Days of Summer," opposite Zooey Deschanel for director Marc Webb.
Gordon-Levitt’s film credits also include "The Lookout," Scott Frank’s directorial debut,
which also starred Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode and Isla Fisher; "Mysterious Skin," Gregg
Araki’s critically acclaimed drama, for which Gordon-Levitt was named as one of the Best
Performances of the Year in 2005 by The New York Times; "Brick," the 2005 Sundance Film
Festival Originality of Vision award-winning film from Rian Johnson; "Manic," the 2001
Sundance Film Festival entry, opposite Don Cheadle and Zooey Deschanel; "10 Things I Hate
About You," with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles; "Halloween: H20," starring Jamie Lee Curtis;
"The Juror," with Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin; the animated film "Treasure Planet"; the
hit family comedy "Angels in the Outfield" with Danny Glover; and his feature film debut,
Robert Redford’s "A River Runs Through It," a performance that earned him a Young Artist
Award for Best Actor Under Ten.
Prior to attending Columbia University, he starred on the award-winning NBC comedy
"3rd Rock from the Sun" for which he received two Hollywood Reporter Young Star Awards
and three Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations for Outstanding Performance by an
Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
JOHN LEGUIZAMO (Enrico) is a multi-faceted performer
and Emmy Award® winner, known for his work in film, theatre,
television and literature. Leguizamo stars in the upcoming
"Humboldt Park" with Debra Messing and Alfred Molina. Also this
year he can be seen in "Righteous Kill" alongside Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
He was last on screen in M. Night Shyamalan’s "The Happening," opposite Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel.
Leguizamo’s recent credits include the "The Babysitters," "The
Take," "The Ministers," and "Love in the Time of Cholera." He also
starred in Spike TV’s limited series "The Kill Point."
Leguizamo has appeared in many films, including "Land of the Dead," "The Groomsmen,"
"Lies & Alibis," "Assault on Precinct 13," "Spin," "Moulin Rouge" (ALMA nomination, Best
Supporting Actor), "Ice Age," Spike Lee’s "Summer of Sam," "King of the Jungle" (ALMA
nomination, Best Lead Actor), "Carlito’s Way," "Casualties of War," "To Wong Foo: Thanks
for Everything, Julie Newmar" (Golden Globe® nomination for Best Supporting Actor), and
On the small screen, Leguizamo starred in HBO’s "Undefeated," his feature directorial
debut. Scripted by Frank Pugliese from a story by Leguizamo and Kathy DeMarco, the film
is about a young Latino boxer. He also appeared in 12 episodes of NBC’s "ER" during the
On stage, Leguizamo created an off-Broadway sensation as the writer and performer of his
one-man show "Mambo Mouth," in which he portrayed seven different characters. He received
Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Vanguardia awards for his performance. The play’s HBO special
led to Comedy Central’s "The Talent Pool," for which he received a CableACE Award.
Leguizamo’s second one-man show, "Spic-O-Rama," received the Dramatists’ Guild Hull-Warriner Award for
Best American Play and the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Achievement
Award for Best Broadway Performance. Leguizamo received the Theatre World Award for
Outstanding New Talent, as well as a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance. "Spic-O-Rama"
aired on HBO, receiving four CableACE Awards. "Freak," Leguizamo’s third oneman
show, earned Tony Award® nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a
Play, plus the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle awards for Outstanding Solo
Performance. A special presentation of "Freak," directed by Spike Lee, aired on HBO and
earned Leguizamo the Emmy Award® for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music
Program as well as a nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
Leguizamo was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo
Performance on Broadway for his performance in "Sexaholix…a Love Story." The show
received a Tony® nomination for Best Special Theatrical Performance.
An accomplished author, Leguizamo’s autobiography "Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All
the Rest of My Hollywood Friends" was released in 2006.
Winner for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for "Ray" at
the NAACP Image Awards in 2005 and nominated for an
Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress in the film "Lift" in 2002,
KERRY WASHINGTON (Zana Wilder) is proving to be one of
the busiest actresses in Hollywood. She garnered critical acclaim for
her latest roles in "The Last King of Scotland," opposite Forest
Whitaker, for which she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting
Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards in 2007,
and in "The Dead Girl," opposite Marcia Gay Harden and Brittany
Murphy. Washington was seen on the big screen in "Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer," "I Think I Love My Wife" and "Little Man." She appears in "A
Thousand Words," starring opposite Eddie Murphy, and "Lakeview Terrace" opposite Samuel
Washington also appeared in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie,
and "Fantastic Four," directed by Tim Story. She played the lead role opposite Anthony Mackie
in Spike Lee’s "She Hate Me," and starred in Sidney Lumet’s HBO film "Strip Search" and
the independent film "Sexual Life."
Other film credits include "Against the Ropes," "The United States of Leland," "The
Human Stain," "Bad Company," "Save the Last Dance," for which she received a Teen Choice
Award for Best Breakout Performance, and the highly acclaimed independent film "Our
Washington is an active member on the board of directors for The Creative Coalition, a
group dedicated to raising awareness of First Amendment Rights and support of arts in
education. She is also a member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day,
the global movement to end violence against women and girls.
D.B. SWEENEY (Colonel Driscoll) has appeared in a number
of memorable films, including "Gardens of Stone," "Memphis
Belle," "Fire in the Sky," "The Cutting Edge," "No Man’s Land,"
"Spawn," "Yellow," "Roommates" and "Eight Men Out" (as Shoeless Joe Jackson).
He has appeared on Broadway and in theatres around the
country, most recently in the acclaimed Williamstown Theater
Festival’s production of "Under Milkwood." Sweeney is a founding
board member of the celebrated Blank Theatre in Los Angeles where he appears regularly.
On television, he played Dish Boggett in the landmark "Lonesome Dove" miniseries. Other
credits include "Jericho," "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," "Strange Luck," "C-16: FBI,"
"Harsh Realm," "Life as We Know It" and the Emmy Award®-winning "Miss Rose White."
Next up is "Crash," a series for Starz that’s based on the Oscar®-winning movie.
Sweeney makes his debut as screenwriter, director and producer with "Two Tickets to
Paradise." He was named Best Director at the Boston International Film Festival and was
recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking at Method Fest. Other awards for the
film include Best Narrative Feature at the Savannah Film Festival, the Audience Choice Award
at The Vail Film Festival, Best Comic Feature at the Staten Island Film Festival, and The
Golden Appy at the Appalachian Film Festival. Sweeney’s multiple efforts on the film have
also been recognized with the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival’s Renaissance
Award and by the Santa Fe Film Festival’s Best of the Independent Spirit Award.
ROBERT JOHN BURKE
ROBERT JOHN BURKE (General Almond) is an
accomplished actor with a variety of roles on both the big and small
screens. Currently, he can be seen in recurring roles on "Gossip
Girl" on CW, and "Rescue Me" on FX.
Burke’s extensive television credits also include a host of the
medium’s hottest shows: "CSI: Miami," "The Sopranos," "Sex and
the City," "Oz," "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: SVU." Recent
shows include HBO’s "Generation Kill," CBS/Hallmark Hall of
Fame’s "The Water Is Wide," "Kidnapped" and "Six Degrees."
On the big screen, Burke has worked for directors like Steven
Spielberg, George Clooney, Oliver Stone, James Mangold and Martha Coolidge. Recent films
include the Oscar®-nominated "Munich," the Golden Globe®- and Screen Actors Guild
Award®- nominated "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Fast Track" and "Hide and Seek," which
starred Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. Burke also appeared in "Confessions of a
Dangerous Mind," "Tombstone," "Heaven & Earth," "RoboCop III" and "Rambling Rose." He
starred in the movie "Thinner," which was based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.
OMERO ANTONUTTI (Ludovico) is a 40-year entertainment
industry veteran. His roster of credits includes roles on stage, in film
and on television.
Antonutti began his career in the theater in 1965, performing in
several productions, including "Le Baccanti" and "Cinque Giorni al Porto."
His entrée into the film world came in 1973 with "Processo per
Direttissima." Antonutti went on to do dozens of films, including
"Padre Padrone." Recent credits include "The Night of the Shooting
Stars," "La Ragazza del Lago," "N," "I Banchieri di Dio" and "Sulla
Spiaggia al di la’ del Molo." On television, he has appeared in programs consistently since
1978, including 2007’s "Rebecca La Prima Moglie." Other TV credits include "Il Pirata—Marco Pantani—L’Orgoglio
Ritrovato," "Sacco e Vanzetti," "La Omicidi," "Ombre," "Fatima" and "La Frontiera."
Antonutti returned to the stage in 2002 with "Storie Delle Maldobrie," directed by Antonio Calenda.
SERGIO ALBELLI (Rodolfo) is an accomplished Italian actor
with numerous roles in film, television and theater.
Recent film/television credits include a number of Italian
projects: "Voce del verbo amore," "Aspettando il sole," "Ho sposato
uno sbirro," "Ris 3," "Distretto di polizia 5," "Codice rosso" and
"Carabinieri sotto copertura." Albelli also appeared in "Italian
Soldiers" and "Captain Corelli’s Mandolin" with Nicolas Cage.
On stage, Albelli has been featured in several productions,
including "La celestina," Il Principe travestito," "Dal matrimonio al
divorzio," "La scuola delle mogli" and "La tragedia spagnola." He’s
worked extensively with directors Cristina Pezzoli and Anna Laura Messeri.
LYDIA BIONDI (Natalina) has more than four decades of
performances under her belt, with extensive experience in film,
television and in the theater.
On the big screen, she appeared in Lasse Hallström’s
"Casanova," starring Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller, Pier Paolo
Pasolini’s "Le streghe" and Federico Fellini’s "Tre passi dal delirio."
Biondi’s film credits also include "Roseanna’s grave," "Empoli
1921," "Volere Volare," "Ratataplan," "Se devo essere sincera,"
"Commedia sexy" and "Fuoco."
Recent television credits include "Il bello delle donne," "Onore e
Rispetto," "Diritto di difesa," "Rome," "Marcinelle," "Il caso Moro" and "Il sangue e la Rosa."
On stage, Biondi boasts dozens of roles in productions including "Le muse orfane," "Solo
per amore," "Il Parasole di Sarah," "Desiderio," "East is East," "Elena in Elena and the
Others," "Beatrice Cenci," "Les Bonnes," "Le Squat," "Bed and Breakfast," "The Last Night
of Salome" and "Babette’s Feast." She has long been part of the Mime and Masks company
OMARI HARDWICK (Platoon Commander Huggs) formally began his acting training in his junior year at the University
of Georgia. After discovering his passion for football was equal to
his desire to act, he joined the Athens Theater Company and
eventually starred in a number of plays including August Wilson’s
adaptation of "Fences." Soon after graduating from UGA, when an
injury cut short his attempt at a pro-football career, Hardwick
headed to NYC to hone his skills on Broadway and off Broadway, before making the move to Los Angeles.
Hardwick eventually caught the eye of Spike Lee and landed his
first major role in "Sucker Free City." He has since starred as the lead in the TNT drama series
"Saved," and co-starred in the films "The Guardian," alongside Kevin Costner, and "Gridiron
Gang" with Dwayne Johnson. Hardwick also appears alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. in
"Linewatch," with upcoming roles in "Bolden," "SIS" and "Next Day Air."
Miracle at Saint Anna Movie Review Film Critic Michael Phillips Reviews Miracle at Saint Anna Miracle at Saint Anna Cast Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Matteo Sciabordi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Valentina Cervi, John Turturro, Kerry Washington
Miracle at Saint Anna Movie Production Notes, Synopsis, About the Movie, About the Cast