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|Index||92 reviews in total|
I started watching with little expectation of it being one I would stick with, but I loved everything about this film.The characters were real and believable, wonderfully written and acted. Jude Law and Juliette Binoche were fantastic, heartbreaking and should both have been awarded for their sensitive portrayals. Martin Freeman was solid as usual and Ray Winstone (though in little more than a cameo) was Ray Winstone!! Beautifully photographed with a wonderful score there is little I can fault about this movie. I do not always love Minghella's films (I thought the English Patient was overrated)I really enjoyed this. The scene in the park towards the end broke my heart. Having just watched it on Sky HD I cannot wait to see it again sometime. I thought the boy who played Juliette Binoche's son was terrific and should have a glittering career ahead of him.
Breaking and Entering is a tedious, tedious, tedious film. Every
character (except the psychiatrist and the attorney for the defense) is
tormented by some sort of past psychological trauma which causes them
to sulk, cheat, lie, leap from buildings in a single bound, scream,
steal, tumble, and whore their way through the story. If you like this
sort of thing, maybe you won't be as bored as I was. I suffered through
the thing on DVD.
The plot is contrived. The dialogue is mostly unintelligible (the angst-ridden actors mumble in thick British accents). Of course, if you're British and seriously hampered by psychological problems of your own, you might possibly understand and believe this rubbish.
I suspect the film was trying to make some vital, social commentary about urban renewal, modern social justice and single-parenting. If so, it went right over my head. Perhaps, I was distracted by plot twists and character transformations that the story could not justify and the real world would not sustain.
Three stars was my wife's idea. (She liked the acting.)
I was really looking forward to seeing this film. Anthony Minghella's
previous collaborations with Jude Law and Juliette Binoche (The
Talented Mr Ripley and Cold Mountain, The English Patient) were
excellent, and I expected something similar from Breaking and Entering.
I was disappointed. Anthony Minghella was so intent on making his film full of meaning, I felt like I was watching a student production. Metaphors and symbols were being thrust at the audience left, right and centre. This excessive usage of look at me, I'm so clever techniques would probably have made a good novel, but on screen, it just didn't work. In short, this film is patronising and pretentious, and it wastes the excellent talents who unfortunately chose to help make it.
The main problem with this film is that is has no soul. It left me feeling completely cold. The acting was excellent, the plot line was interesting and it had some rather obvious yet still thought provoking things to say about modern life, yet all the same, I felt like there was a wall between me and the characters, and I never felt involved or really that interested in their lives. It seems that in the constant efforts to make this film deep and meaningful, and not to mention almost embarrassingly politically correct, it sacrificed character development, focus and entertainment value.
The other main problem with the film is that it is patronising; Minghella is attempting to give us an 'education', when we already know what he's telling us; obviously there is an incredibly unfair rich/poor divide in London, obviously people whose lives appear great on the surface can underneath be completely dissatisfied and want to escape, and obviously there is no perfect solution to life's problems. Minghella seems to think that he has some sort of higher understanding of human nature, and the way the world really works, when actually, he's just stating the obvious. Minghella obviously spends more time in Primrose Hill than King's Cross himself, and has lost touch with the average person in the process; we're not as thick as he thinks.
If you go and see this film, you probably will find it strangely enjoyable despite its faults; I certainly wasn't bored, and Ray Winstone and the terrific Martin Freeman, plus Vera Farmiga as the prostitute, provide some much needed light relief in places. However, prepare to be patronised and don't expect to feel anything for the characters or be convinced by them; they're just cardboard characters cut out to illustrate the 'life lessons' Minghella is teaching us through his 'subtle' metaphors, symbols and Dawson's Creekesque dialogue. Pretentious, certainly. A waste of time? Not completely. Weirdly, despite everything I've said, I still enjoyed it. I wouldn't see it again, but I don't regret watching it in the first place.
Will Francis (Jude Law) opens a new architecture office in the
transitioning London neighborhood Kings Cross. He and his girlfriend
Liv (Robin Wright Penn) are growing distant and her autistic daughter
Bea is one of the reasons. Meanwhile Amira (Juliette Binoche) is
worried about her son Miro (Rafi Gavron) slipping into criminal
activity. They're from Bosnia and his father was killed during the war.
Miro is teamed up with his cousin Zoran (Ed Westwick) in the family
crime business. They break into Will's office to steal computers. Miro
steals the valuable miniatures for his own artistic work and is given
Will's personal computer as a reward. They rob the place a second time
and Will's partner Sandy (Martin Freeman) almost runs into them.
Detective Bruno Fella (Ray Winstone) investigates. Will and Sandy
decide to stake out their own offices and encounter prostitute Oana
(Vera Farmiga) working in the area. One night, Will catches Miro and
follows him all the way home. Instead of directing the cops to the
thieve, he starts a relationship with his mother.
This is written and directed by Anthony Minghella. I have no specific problems with the directions. It is all about the writing. It is overloaded with class warfare melodrama. Everybody has their own dramas. There is just too much. That's not to say there is nothing worthwhile. Binoche is amazing in this. If this is a simple movie about her and her son, this could be an award worthy performance. Again there are so many characters who each have their own drama. Minghella could easily cut out Sandy and Oana. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less about Will and his family drama either. The complicated melodrama is simply too complicated.
"Breaking and Entering" is not a movie for everyone, if you don't like
dramas avoid this one. This is an interesting movie, but it's not the
kind of film that you wanna watch more than once.
The performances are good, specially the leading actor Jude Law as Will. I think this movie shouldn't have lasted 120 minutes, 105 would have been better, because there are parts that are a too slow. Here we can see how sometimes a couple who loved each other a lot once come to a point where they live in a tense way and sometimes the part who tries to resolve the problems and doesn't find the right answers look for love in other place at the first opportunity the chance appears.
The plot of the movie is about Will an architect who is going through a bad moment in his marriage and is being victim of robberies at his work by the teenager Miro and a group of thieves. For trying to resolve the mystery of the robberies Will is going to meet Miro's mother and he will evaluate how are the things in his own life................
"Breaking and Entering" is about breaking the shells that separate
people and entering their lives. While there, they cause pain and joy
to each other, they get engaged - and this is what is required for
people to be together. Parallel between social projects and individual
lives is director's solution, by example, how these social projects may
become real they must be validated through individual lives of
Jude Law needed this role to show his actor's skill not just good looks in my estimation he did well. Juliette Binoche, besides being as always adorable, plays role of Serbian Moslem émigré very believably. The rest of characters are supporting and did a good job. Director's work was solid not brilliant but very professional and credible.
Positive: Good cast, deliberate attempt to build a situation that would address a social condition using individual-social metaphor, solid craftsmanship in directorial work.
Negative: The ideas are not well develop and too simplistic. The "Breaking and Entering" as a step in overcoming individual alienation is unconvincing.
Conclusion: If you wish a food for thought, albeit imperfect, see this film for me it will always beat "The Dark Knight" (9.2/10) or "Star Wars" (9/10). The rating of 8 was given on the background of everyday's trash produced by Hollywood encouraged by mindless crowds filling movie theaters and elevating ratings for such trash to the astronomical levels - for them Socrates' "An unexamined life is not worth living" has no meaning.
I care a lot about the work of Minghella. There is a visual poetry
transversal to all his films, good or bad, which, although clearly
rooted in specific references, are quite personal and honest. I often
have the impression that throughout the whole movie he is showing one
single image, which is twisted, faded, slightly changed. So he is
coherent within his own personal world. He is abstract in the way he
weaves sensations and feelings which may not be directly related to the
story or the characters depicted. There is an element which always
plays in agreement with what he intends: the music by Gabriel Yared.
When (if) i come to comment on the English Patient, all these
observations will be more meaningful and make more sense (thus i will
feel the need to explore these links more). But, generally speaking,
these are the characteristics that trespass all of Mighella's films.
This is no exception. He chooses a location, strongly identifiable
(London), and he layers his poetic visual storytelling on it. He is
building his own city within the real location. No wonder the
protagonist is an architect. Nevertheless, the film has little to do
The thing is, there are filmmakers who operate (no matter what they are doing) mainly on a spatial world (Welles, Antonioni, Tarkovsky, dePalma...) and others rooted on image, or framed (Wenders, Lynch, Lang, Antonioni again...). Minghella is one of this second kind. He roots his visual story telling on framed image, and possibilities it gives to our imagination. It's as if the film we see here was the model the young thief builds along the film, and the characters were the small human models he places at his will. The need to escape (or the need to change) apparently drives the fate of these characters. The boy who searches the abstract space (architecture in process) to escape his marginal reality, Binoche who searches the affair to escape her solitude, Law who searches for the same affair to escape his difficult family life. Yared's soundtrack has here an interesting ambiguity between an epic vision and a cozy environment. Where i think this film fails (or at least doesn't succeed the way other films by this director succeed) is in its lack of energy. It's less vigorous than "mr ripley" and less meditative than "english patient". i suppose it's coherent to the world it depicts, but it's not as efficient or interesting as the world of the two other films. I face this as minor work by the director, but it's worth taking a look.
My opinion: 3/5
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anthony Minghella is a director of huge capacity,he's able to talk
about anything, but there is always something which stands out in all
his works and that's his Humanism.
If you happen to see negative, mean characters in his previous films,in Breaking and Entering it is hard to distinguish,in fact there is no such distinction as antagonist and protagonist,for each of the characters can play both parts regarding the people and circumstances they're surrounded in.
The title is very explicit,there are lots of breaking and enterings not just in ones property but also into each other ,questioning and re-valuating ones actions and choices and most of all revealing the motives,whether they rise from social or personal considerations.
In Minghella's sphere every human being is welcome and lovable,he's not accusing or justifying the people, but the circumstances.It is a film that tells the story of a lot of people of our times when political and social insecurities have broken the borders between countries and made many people immigrants.
It is a film that makes us feel responsible towards each other,and creates a land for all of us to live in, that of compassion.
Will Francis is an architect who has just gone into new premises with
business partner Sandy as part of a proposed development in Kings
Cross. Will has challenges at home with an autistic teenager and a
distance between himself and partner Liv. After a series of break-ins
at their new offices, Will starts staying late to stake it out, hoping
to work out who is doing it and why. This puts extra strain on his home
life or perhaps it acts as an escape from his hone life. He spots the
thief (teenager Miro) and follows him back home not entirely sure
why. Soon he is engineering a meeting with the boy's immigrant mother,
starting a chain of events without a clear reason.
In an attempt to convince her that I am a thoughtful guy, I put this on my LoveFilm queue because she had watched part of this before the airplane she was watching it on had its entertainment system fall over. Otherwise it had not really appealed to me that much and the reviews had been mixed when it came out. Watching it made me feel like I was watching something meaningful and important but yet for some reason I couldn't connect with it emotionally. The material and the various characters made it interesting enough and it just about held my attention but I couldn't get with the characters. The motivations just seemed off and I couldn't see much in the way of reality backing up the script and coming out in the detail of the performances.
It is a shame because mostly the film is set up to be a classic character piece. Direction from Minghella is excellent, with great cinematography and a wonderfully reflective score throughout but it is his writing that lets it down. I'm open to the idea that I just didn't "get it" but I did struggle to find people and truth within the characters. It is not the fault of the cast because they do pretty well. Law works well and he does seem to be trying to find his centre but he couldn't help the fact that some aspects of his character don't ring true. Gavron holds his own very well considering those around him. Binoche is solid and works well and Penn is better than I expected. Freeman is so-so though while Winstone, Chikezie and a few others are good additions even if they don't have much to do.
A quite engaging but rather hollow film then even if it does have its moments of beauty. The class is there for all to see but somehow the script just doesn't have the depth that it thinks it does.
I really found this movie touching, probably since being at that stage in life when one can easily understand and identify with these situations. I found these ideas of alienation, chase for a (false) easy life where as very actual. In this world where this concept of individualism (as long as YOU are OK nothing else matters, f..k duty, integrity, not to mention fidelity and the simple commitment that two people make to each other) this film manages to bring a sort of brightness and hope by the final "redemption" of the main characters. Also, Minghela's gentle style is standing out - it gives me the impression that he loves humans and that he understands their weaknesses. Is a nice sensation to feel that warmth in a movie instead of being angry with the character. Is somehow like a poetry of human soul.
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