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Facing Windows (2003)

Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Massimo Girotti, more...
Director: Ferzan Ozpetek, Ferzan Ozpetek
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Rating:
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Italy, Portugal, British Drama, UK
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: Italian
Subtitles: English, French
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This title is currently out of print.

Recently Rented By vizetelly


Synopsis
Young married couple Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and Filippo (Filippo Nigro) have been married long enough to have become almost completely jaded by their lots in life, with most of their individual aspirations having been set aside some time ago. As their marriage begins to fall apart, the two encounter a strange old man (Massimo Girotti) who calls himself Simone since he can't seem to recall his real name or much about his past history. Filippo brings the man home to stay with them, which initially irritates Giovanna. Over time, she gradually befriends the confused old man and eventually notices a tattoo on his arm indicative of his being a WWII Holocaust survivor. Taking "Simone" to an old Roman ghetto, she helps him remember his name (Davide) and his time spent in that very ghetto -- which includes recalling the very painful memory of his lover Simone's capture and murder at the hands of the Nazis. Meanwhile, Giovanna has been spending her free time impulsively peeping across the street at her attractive neighbor Lorenzo (Raoul Bova) -- who in turn has been spying on her. Giovanna is thus forced to decide between Filippo and Lorenzo, as well as possibly realizing a long dormant professional dream that her new friend Davide may be able to help her undertake. ~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Worst subtitles in history by ncrow October 22, 2008 - 9:15 PM PDT
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2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This film is unwatchable because of the ridiculous subtitles. A couple have an exchange; he says two sentences; she says one long sentence. Translation: "Let's go, then." That kind of thing. I am not talking about a missing word here or there. I'm talking about 75 spoken words and a six-word translation. Utterly unwatchable and the worst job of subtitling I have ever seen outside of Bulgarian pirate DVD's seen in Istanbul hotels...

A great film about marriage by MKaliher June 2, 2008 - 4:58 PM PDT
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Nearly smothered in this film's overcrowded story line is one of the best depictions of the struggle for commitment and intimacy ever filmed. The trials of Giovanna and Filippo will be familiar to anyone who has tried to balance a meaningful relationship while raising a family under difficult circumstances.

Unfortunately, the director trivializes this affecting element of the film by throwing too many ingredients into the kettle. A little subtlety and grace--ala Alex in Stealing Beauty, portrayed so brilliantly by Jeremy Irons--would have given the character of Davide more substance. (For what it's worth, Cuarón trashed Maribel Verdú's rich story line with similar failings in Y Tu Mamá También.) And LensCrafter Man comes across like some cardboard model from a magazine ad, very unconvincing. I kept expecting the Calvin Klein or Lexus logo to pop up.

But, despite its failings, La Finestra di fronte is well worth the price of admission--thanks to Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Filippo Nigro's outstanding performances, and the film's edifying conclusion. I think it's the best Italian film released in the US since Everybody's Fine (Stanno tutti bene) in 1990. But you may want to view it privately before sharing it with your spouse: it could raise some issues close to the bone.

Just Desserts by talltale November 3, 2004 - 6:14 AM PST
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7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
A nice leap forward for the talented Italian/Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek, who also did "Steam" and "Ignorant Fairies" (the latter renamed "His Secret Life" here in the US), FACING WINDOWS should please foreign film aficionados. Spanning World War II to present-day Italy, four generations, and hetero/homosexualty, it tells the story of a young couple with marital problems and the unusual old man they meet. This is a combination "chick flick," gay movie, soap opera, "food feast" and philosophical exploration of what ties us together as human beings and citizens of the world. If it sounds complicated, never fear: you'll thrive on the magic that Ozpetek weaves. The performances of Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filipo Nigro and Massimo Girotti (as the wife, her husband and the old man) are sterling--some of the finest acting you'll see this year. "Facing Windows" was among the 13 films that made their American debut at the 2004 Lincoln Center festival of new Italian cinema, and it's the first to be released commercially. A half-dozen of these films were absolute knock-outs, so let's hope more new Italian movies find ready distribution here in the States.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.07)
41 Votes
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Mike's 100 Very Entertaining Movies
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Skews towards edgier adult fare (see also Favorite 50 & Most Favorite 25)
MGrandin

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