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While waiting for the brain surgery of his daughter Angela, victim of a motorcycle accident, the surgeon Timoteo (Sergio Castellitto) recalls his torrid affair with and passion for Italia (Penélope Cruz), a simple woman from slums in the periphery of the big city where he lives. The ghost of the beloved and sexual object of desire Italia chases him in his memories. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In Australia we are fortunate to have 3 or 4 festivals each year showcasing the latest films from France, Germany, Greece and Italy. "Don't look Now" is screening as part of the Italian one
Sergio Castellitto is quite well known here, perhaps mainly for his lead role in "Mostly Martha" where he shone. He brings a great presence to the screen although his character here is darker than the outgoing Italian chef in Martha.
"Don't Look Now" is a riveting story of a surgeon sitting in the waiting room of a hospital where he works with his 15 yo daughter and only child seriously injured fighting for her life in the operating room. Whilst waiting he recounts the crucial moments in his life and mainly his sordid and violent (his) relationship with Cruz, a derelict young woman and the interplay and very much parallel life with his wife, a successful journalist played by Claudia Gerini who looks very much like an Italian Diane Lane.. beautiful hair, classical looks.
The contrast between his married homelife and Cruz situation is black and white. His house overlooks a beautiful beach, Cruz's is in a dusty hellhole in the middle of a construction site.
This film makes perfect use of flashbacks something I normally detest particularly ones that move in reverse order like Momento or the French Film "Irreversible"
The rape scene between Cruz and Castellitto is much briefer than that in "Irreversible" but just as uncomfortable to watch.
I couldn't quite work out the attraction between Cruz's and Castellitto's characters as there was no gentleness in his approach at first (it was rape) but somehow he falls in love with her.
But there is a lot to enjoy here and a lot to think about afterwards. It is the sort of movie that you should see once and could see a number of times to get all the angles.
For Cruz this could perhaps be compared to Halle Berry's performance in Monsters Ball or Charlene Theron's in Monster. But unlike these other two films, Cruz's character is only one of the 3 or 4 varied relationships Castellitto's character has in the film. These relationships and how they interplay is why it is such an interesting movie.
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