|Index||10 reviews in total|
This movie is a wonderful, successful attempt to describe
The whole movie is pervaded by a melancholic atmosphere of sadness and
desolation, contributed to by even the smallest details.
If you like action, if you consider silence just boring, if you want a frantic-paced story that does not give you the time to reflect, this movie is definitely not for you.
But if you are looking for poetry, you will really love this movie. I do.
The title of this film "Luce dei miei occhi" translates from Italian to
English to mean "Through the light of my eyes" and how appropriate.
This is one of the most realistic movies that reflects the true nature
of how cruel and one sided some relationships and liaisons can be. Most
movies of this genre are so predictable and to some extent,- extremely
unrealistic, simply because men are always portrayed as the selfish
cold hearted instigator to jeopardize relationships. What makes this
movie more unique is that there is no third party to cause rivalry for
this woman's affection.
Without giving too much away, we have here a lonely taxi driver who is a true gentleman with honourable intentions, that falls for a single mother (of a young daughter) who remains coldly indifferent to his love and commendable contributions. She runs a frozen food store and he eventually learns that she is heavily in debt to some loan shark, so he decides to help with payments without her knowledge. He goes to extreme lengths to help her by also striking some deal in chauffeuring her creditor. In the movie, he narrates his experiences by modeling similarities to the themes of non related events in some Science fiction novels,which are his other passion and that he feels like an alien from another planet without any sense of belonging.
Although she is not at fault for her lack of affection towards him, this movie can be extrapolated further, because it does not have to be just the lack of appreciation from a woman towards a man's love, but the lack of appreciation from any other person, purely due to a missing charm. I am not one to be blown away by love stories, however, there is a moral to this movie that generalizes beyond a conjugal relationship, which affects us all in one way or another, even if it may be just between siblings. This demonstrates that it is not what you do for another to be appreciated, but whether they like you or not. Many of us can relate to this fact whether it is for affection from a partner, appreciation for contributions towards the workplace that go beyond the call of duty, countless efforts towards a friendship or even time towards a charitable cause. It is not what you do for a cause, but whether the recipient likes you or not.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One night while driving home, Antonio almost hits a young girl, Lisa,
who has been chasing a cat that had escaped. Antonio is intrigued by
what a girl of 12 can be doing alone at night, Lisa confesses she is
not supposed to, as the mother, Maria arrives in her motor scooter.
Maria is suspicious of this stranger who should have no business
talking to her daughter.
Antonio begins to obsess about Maria, a young woman who is having problems running her frozen food store and making ends meet. He begins to follow her. He is a driver who works for a small firm where he is always ready to cover up for a married colleague whenever he is needed. Maria begins to warm up to Antonio to the point that she invites him for a dinner that leads to a romantic night. After that, Maria turns cold toward the young man, which doesn't make sense.
One day Antonio, who is left at the store to cover Maria who has to run an errand, discovers how she has been borrowing money from a loan shark. Antonio stalks Saverio, until he is able to ask him about the money Maria has to pay him. Saverio takes a liking to Antonio, who makes himself indispensable to the money man, who he soon discovers is running illegal apartments for mostly Muslim illegal immigrants.
The problem with Antonio is he can't make Maria accept him completely. She makes no bones in telling him how she views their situation. She tells him point blank how she feels about him and not to expect anything from her. Maria is a lonely woman who dwells on her misery with no hope to accept what Antonio feels for her.
Giuseppe Piccioni bowls us over with his take on these lonely people, that having so much in common, never get to share the intimacy and love they feel for one another. Maria is a wounded woman who can't accept the kind of love Antonio offers her. Mr. Piccioni, who co-wrote the screen play with Umberto Contarello, is one of the best directors working in the current Italian cinema. In this film, as well as in "Fuori dal Mondo", he shows he clearly understands what his characters are going through.
Luigi LoCascio makes a deep impression as Antonio. This complex man is much more than what we see on the surface. He is a compassionate man whose own childhood has been shaped by the absence of his father, who abandoned him and his mother to go to Argentina. Sandra Ceccarelli is also excellent as the wounded woman who has to struggle in order to make a living for her and her daughter under strained conditions. Silvio Orlando, makes a perfect portrait of Saverio, the petty gangster who befriends Antonio and take him under his wing.
The film is also blessed with a marvelous musical score by Ludovico Einaudi that serves to create the moody action well. Arnaldo Catinari's excellent dark cinematography enhances everything one sees in the movie.
Highly recommended for fans of Giuseppe Piccioni.
how could you evaluate the suggestion to enjoy the vision of a movie like this, winning the awards for best actors in Venice Festival(both male LoCascio and female Ceccarelli) but also with some Italian pro critics defining it a half delusion? My opinion is the pro had seen another movie, there was a mistake during their private vision, otherwise there is no explanation. This movie is pure poetry, I've seen it twice, at cinema and at home, and always my feeling was comparable with the state of grace that vision of masterpieces give me. The story is about a woman(with a young daughter) and a man, their normal life, aspiring just a bit of happiness, a human contact in a world in which sometimes we fell alien(a constant recall in this movie). The plot is complete, practically perfect. Enjoy it the more when you need a gentle fondling, we are not alone.
LIGHT OF MY EYES ('Luce dei miei occhi') is more a fantasia on theme of
loneliness and need for love than it is a straightforward narrative
story. Under the direction of Giuseppe Piccioni, who co-wrote the
screenplay with Umberto Contarello, it shimmers like and extended poem,
a theme so delicate and so suffused with melancholy that it remains as
an echo long after the film is over.
Antonio (Luigi Lo Cascio) is a sweet dreamer who respects his station in life as a chauffeur for customers about Rome, following the rule of 'Know when to talk and when to shut up' his boss has set as the standard. In his lonely ennui Antonio narrates his life in a voice-over monologue as a man named Morgan, a character with whom he identifies from his science fiction novel. His life takes on some meaning when he prevents an accident from happening with a young girl Lisa (Barbara Valente) who lives a lonely life with her lonely mother Maria (Sandra Ceccarelli) whose life is divided among making a living in a not too successful frozen food shop, a frustrating sexual attachment to a cold married man, and trying to hold her little home together since her husband's absence. Gradually Antonio's act of protecting Lisa is acknowledged by Maria and while Antonio is quite taken with the distant Maria, Maria thanks him in a brief and passionate but isolated sexual experience. Maria is needy, Antonio is needy, Lisa is needy, but somehow the connection cannot be made: Maria must concentrate on her lack of income to support Lisa.
Antonio, seeing the need to assist Maria's financial situation, allows himself to accept a chauffeur job that involves illegal smuggling of foreigners. Maria's response to her desperate situation is to allow Lisa to be cared for by her grandparents. In a moment suggestive of the old Christmas tale where the man buys combs for his wife's hair while the wife sells her hair to by a gift for her husband, Maria and Antonio face the misunderstanding of their 'friendship' and all seems lost until each changes a significant event that opens a communal door of caring and hope for something more for the little trio.
Both Lo Cascio and Ceccarelli are fine actors and make these difficult roles wholly credible. The atmosphere of the film is well defined by the adroit camera work of Arnaldo Catinari and enhanced by the musical score by Ludovico Einaudi. This is one of those very small films that may evade the casual film-goer not only due to the inappropriately poor DVD cover art but also by the lack of proper promotion. It is a word of mouth success in this country. In Italian with English subtitles. Grady Harp
Is there a real science fiction story, about Morgan, the earthling? I
was unable to see the titles of the science fiction books being read in
Antonio is a "goody-goody two-shoes" whose mother dressed him in a coat and tie, since he was little. In his escape to Rome, and his accidental encounter with Lisa, he lets himself veer off course, into alien territory: he lets himself get out of his comfortable character, in pursuit of Maria, Lisa's mother.
The kind understanding and advice of his employer tells the story that this is a very old tale of a man's being enamored of a woman who is not for him.
Sometimes it isn't always love at first sight for both of the people involved and you actually have to work at it. That's true for most of us and most of us never have the courage to keep walking such a tenuous thread for another person. This has become my most cherished and favorite film. I love to watch it late at night on weekends - this really brings the atmosphere and music of the film to life. And such a wonderful ambient soundtrack that is woven throughout the film! Settle in one evening with your significant other and put this one on - it will heighten your perception of your relationship and make you appreciate just how much easier it was for the two of you to get together than for the couple in the film.
Antonio is a driver. He travels across the roads on a life on his own,
made of fantasy and suggestions. Maria the impossible love to conquer,
the epitome of a modern "it's complicated" girl. But how can you such a
strong feeling? This time it's love driving Antonio out of it's
imaginary immature world.
Music ( heck out talented Ludovico Einaudi works http://www.einaudiwebsite.com ) and lights (here he's a Gisueppe Piccioni interview for Terna's web magazine "Eye on Energy" http://tiny.sm/piccioni ) blends into one arising as a real character.
Gisueppe Piccioni shooting it's as brilliant and vibrant as falling in love.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
...I would think this was a great movie.
The feeling of loneliness in a crowd is probably familiar to most of people at some point of their life, but going through the whole life with it on their shoulders is not an easy task, and many people are unhappy enough to know what I'm talking about.
The last paragraph of Charles Joe Agnes comment is a great description of it. This is not only the basic truth of this movie, but of many people's destinies as well.
That's why the end of the movie is hard to accept. ***SPOILERS*** Almost as if it was added to satisfy the happy-end loving audience (like Charles Dickens' unnatural ending of 'Great Expectations'.) A couple of minutes before the end all the losers are in their usual position: they have nothing now and nothing to hope for in future. Maria (finally) lost her daughter, what she was afraid of all the time. Lisa has to live with her grandparents against her wishes, but it was a logical destiny (once social workers put you under surveillance...). Her grandparents did legally win, but it was a Pyrrhic victory to have the girl who doesn't want to be there, who doesn't like them very much and now will most likely start to hate them for what they did. And, of course Antonio, always polite and ready to help friends, but never giving himself completely till he met Maria, now rejected by her, fired by his friendly boss, he has to collect pieces of his life and probably never ever open himself again.
Wouldn't it been an ending that would fit in real life of real people that movie shows and Charles Joe Agnes writes about?
***NO MORE SPOILERS*** Otherwise this is movie that could be recommended to people who can take their time to watch a slow, beautiful and clever movie, a modern Italian film that has finally left Fellini traditions and follows Tornatore's paths.
Despite being highly criticised by movie critics at Venice Festival, it's
great movie. True and touching.
Sandra Ceccarelli is only wonderful, as Silvio Orlando in a minor
If you have a chance, give it a look!.
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