Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. Italy/Spain, 2012. Medusa Film, Alien Produzioni, Mod Producciones, Picomedia, Telecinco Cinema, Sky Cinema, Mediaset, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Film Investment Piedmont, Film Commission Torino-Piemonte, Regione Lazio. Screenplay by Sergio Castellitto, Margaret Mazzantini, based on the novel by Margaret Mazzantini. Cinematography by Gianfilippo Corticelli. Produced by Sergio Castellitto, Roberto Sessa. Music by Eduardo Cruz. Production Design by Francesco Frigeri. Costume Design by Sonoo Mishra. Film Editing by Patrizio Marone. Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
The ineptitude of Sergio Castellitto to make movies about women without despising them is even more painfully felt here than it was in Don’t Move, particularly given the grossly melodramatic nature of the screenplay and the abysmal lack of chemistry between the leads. Penelope Cruz is fantastic as a middle-aged Italian woman who takes her teenaged son to Sarajevo to view the gallery exhibit of a photo journalist (Emile Hirsch) whose work from the Bosnian war is now on display. We then flash back to twenty years earlier, when a young Cruz finds herself in the middle of the Balkan conflict and meets Hirsch, falling madly in love with him and going on the kind of voyage of love against the backdrop of cultural destruction that usually makes for breathtaking movie watching. Unfortunately, Castellitto thinks that women are helplessly at the mercy of their own brainless emotional vulnerability, which can be the only reason she so hopelessly loves this colourless manchild, and the result is an insipid mess with bad dialogue and dishonest emotional revelations.