This is not a
movie for everyone. Itís a story of two people trapped in a marriage in a small
Sicilian fishing village on Lampedusa, a small island closer to Tunisia than
it is to Sicily. Grazie
(Valeria Golino) is a beautiful mother of two boys and a Sophia Lorenesque
teenage daughter, Marinella (Veronica DíAgostino), married to fisherman
Pietro (Vincenzo Amato), who is struggling to hold his family together.
Why? Because Grazie
displays periodic mental instability, like going swimming topless with her
sons in public, blowing her top when Pietro disciplines their son, and
generally acting goofy on occasions. Because
her actions impact everyone in the small village, they want her to go to
Milan for treatment. She reacts
violently. Older son Pasquale
(Francesco Casisa) tries to help her but his childish solution just makes
beautiful cinematography, Respiro captures the claustrophobic life in a
small Sicilian fishing village with nothing to do. Marinella deals with her
awakening sexuality by coming on to a local policeman.
Younger brother Fillipo (Fillipo Pucillo) causes trouble wherever he
goes, especially tormenting Marinella and her boy friend.
Even though this
is a lusty, brawling group of people, this movie takes its time getting to
wherever itís going. Some might find it terminally slow. The two women, Golino and DíAgostino, are gorgeous and
Amato has rugged good looks that should attract women.
One of the unique things
about this movie is that it not only examines the relationship between
Grazie and Pietro, it also develops the relationships between the children
and each of their parents. Unfortunately,
the inscrutable ending makes one wonder if it was worthwhile sitting
through. In Italian with subtitles.
May 18, 2003