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Breaking and Entering
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Breaking and Entering More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully wrought, well done, well acted, contemporary London

Author: secondtake from United States
14 January 2015

Breaking and Entering (2006)

Underrated. The acting is so good, and the story so interesting and not quite familiar (even if it uses some familiar ideas), and the way it is filmed and told so expert, it's hard to see why there aren't more people appreciating this. I really liked it, and was never distracted and disappointed.

First there is Jude Law, a nuanced actor who rises above his reputation as a pretty man. He manages to come off as a self-absorbed jerk with a nice interior, then as a truly good man, then as a tortured adulterer. And some things between, all restrained and quite believable in a proper, well-educated London scene. Against him and even more astonishing (as usual) is Juliette Binoche, playing a Bosnian immigrant with a troubled son. Binoche's accent, to an American ear, and her mannerisms were so real I had to look her up to see if she really was born and raised in France (she was, in Paris, though her mother came from Poland).

It is the troubled son who connects the two. Add a troubled marriage that Law's character has with a neurotic but striving wife (Robin Penn Wright) and their own daughter and her autistic tendencies, and you have a complicated world. And it takes a director like the also underrated Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient"), who made only eight movies before his early death, to make sense of this without pandering to sensation. And keeping it visually beautiful.

There are flaws here, partly in the writing (also Minghella's hand), adding elements that seem a bit forced (the "good" prostitute, for example). And perhaps even the end, which is beautiful and idealistic and dramatic but a hair sudden after all, needed a different tilt. But in all there is psychology and sentiment and narrative twisting enough for any solid contemporary movie. It still resonates, even a decade later.

So why the lack of appreciation? My first guess is that it isn't flashy, it never goes over any edge. You might say it takes no chances. But if you like a really well made drama for what it is, this is one to try.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Almost really good

Author: juneebuggy from Canada
6 November 2014

This was almost a really good movie, following criminals, immigrants and well-to-do professional types in London's King's Cross neighborhood.

Jude Law looks good and does a fine job as an architect staking out and tracking the thief who twice broke into his office. Along the way he hops into a bathtub and begins an affair with the 15 year old thief's mother (Juliette Binoche) -she's a Serbian refugee, trying to blackmail him into not pressing charges against her son. Robin Wright plays Law's live in girlfriend -she's meant to be Swedish but her accent is terrible and her character all over the place. I expected better from her as I'm usually a fan.

The story itself never really comes together, even at the end when all the characters intersect, it wasn't fulfilling. I did enjoy seeing Sherlock's (Martin Freeman) here and also liked the Serbian boys 'jumping' all over Kings Cross while they burgled people. Good acting from "the thief" and Binoche. 02.23.14

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A tale of dissonance and duality

Author: Radoslav Ivanov ( from Milan, Italy
6 February 2014

I enjoyed this a lot. It gives a very competent multi-dimensional representation of the concept of duality.

We have a tale of dissonance, a tale of 2 families, each involving a "troubled" kid obsessed with dance/acrobatics (1 autistic, 1 refugee). 2 moms living in foreign places (1 brunette, 1 blond). 1 man with fair hair in the middle, connecting the dots. All of them are struggling to find peace, both on a personal and family level. The dialogue and the overall pace/rhythm of the story complement each other very well, inherently exploring miscommunication and incongruity.

Among the broken souls, there are multiple forceful break-ins, whether physical or emotional. Those "crimes" ultimately trigger responses at the end, whether physical or emotional. The man in the center is the only one guilty of both types of "crimes", committing them on every level, both in the past and present, even against nature. A subsequent question to ask is, did we achieve equilibrium?

See this. It's probably Anthony's best work. Such a shame that we lost him shortly after this.

4/5 - Worth a watch, it's very good, very human

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

neat and classic

Author: rezbd from Bangladesh
21 December 2010

I like this movie. it is a neat and classic movie having an excellent story line. The events and relations were look so realistic. Almost everybody played well on it. The director Anthony Minghella took care of extremely subtle details. complication of human relationships, love incidents, pertaining collision... everything staged very well. I rated it 10 out of 10. I would give it 9 but I see it's having a low rating, it doesn't deserve such a six and half. If you are not a big fan of thriller movie and if you are passionate to watch classics then you should watch it, and in this case, I believe you would like to watch it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

To comfort those lonely moments

Author: yufyonder from India
30 July 2010

Though I would rate it six out of ten, still it is one of the movies I got fully engrossed in, while watching it alone in a theater and couldn't stop myself writing a good review. It had few moments of emotional intimacy, likely to be impossible between complete strangers in real world, because we too often end up hurting people and a strange defense mechanism of formality exist among us, preventing such moments from happening. I am not a big fan of Jude Law, but he manages to seem believable and this one is not an exception. In the whole bunch of actors Juliette Binoche stands out, she has this hint of compassion in her expressions, making her look so beautiful, but it is her acting that makes this movie special and recommendable.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Emotional character-driven drama

Author: BernardoLima from Portugal
9 January 2010

Breaking and Entering focuses on Will,(Jude Law) a landscape architect who succeeds in business but finds his personal life is tougher to navigate. He has been with Liv (Robin Wright Penn), for years, but it's difficult to connect with her due to her worry over her autistic teenage daughter. When Will catches a teenage boy named Miro (Ravi Gafron) breaking into his office, he chases the thief home. He later meets the boy's mother, a Bosnian refugee played by Juliette Binoche. His anger at Miro is quickly transformed into attraction to his mother, further complicating his relationship with Liv... I remember watching Breaking and Entering more then a year ago but, at the time, I thought it was a bit dull and slow paced and I ended up seeing only the first half. After all this time, I decided to give the film a second try mainly because it stars Jude Law, a great actor that usually does the kind of films I like, emotional dramas, often very character-driven, about relationships and the human nature. And that is exactly what Breaking and Entering is, and this time around I truly enjoyed the film even though it's far from being great. I guess you could say Breaking and Entering is an acquired taste. Those looking for instant gratification will be disappointed, on the other hand,those looking for a cleverly-written adult drama will be pleased, I think. See, the story is quite simple but the human nature is very complex, the reason why we do the things we do, our emotions, why we respond to certain situations in a certain manner, that's what's interesting about the story and it's the kind of thing the film tries to tap into. Visually, Breaking and Entering is quite stunning with beautiful cinematography and some great locations. The film was well acted with Jude Law delivering the best performance. In the end maybe the film should have been a little shorter, it would probably please a wider audience, but, it's like I mentioned before, Breaking and Entering is an acquired taste, it won't please the masses, that's for sure but, for those like me, who enjoy raw and realistic emotional dramas, I think it's a film worth watching.


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great movie. I recommend it.

Author: Amita Deb from United Kingdom
30 March 2009

Like most other people commenting here, I had watched many of Anthony Minghella movies before watching this one. So I started with great expectations and watched it carefully.

It is an intense drama and grips you till the end. Good, compact storyline. The casts did an amazing job. Juliet Binoche displayed one of her best performances. Excellent camera work. These are the things on the surface.

On a deeper level, the strength in the portrayal of human emotions depicted in the characters is the biggest success of the movie. Characters are multi-faceted, and like regular human beings full of contradictions and even plain-faced lies and yet in the core of their hearts is the ray of human love. The end of the movie made me a little emotional reflecting that this is how we are the humans.

A great movie and I would recommend it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Complex Adults with Complex Problems

Author: Neil Turner from Annapolis, Maryland
8 November 2008

Don't be misled by the title. Even though there is some burglary in this film, it is not the story of a crime. It is the story of a man, two women, two children, and the complex relationships they endure amongst themselves and those around them. If you are looking for an extremely well acted and excellently produced adult drama, this is it.

Breaking and Entering offers us two families in crisis. Will Francis and his wife Liv - they refer to each other as husband and wife even though they are not legally married - have reached that point in their relationship where communication has ceased. There is further stress upon the relationship caused by the problems of Bea - her daughter, his stepdaughter whom he loves as his own. Bea appears to have some form of autism in which she cannot sleep and possesses unreasonable fears such as her fear of the color yellow. Needless-to-say, most of Liv and Will's time at home is spent dealing with the problems of their daughter.

At work, Will is a successful architect and developer who, along with his partner, is working on a massive renewal of the King's Cross area of London. In the film, King's Cross is an "iffy" area peopled mostly by members of the lower class - many immigrants from a variety of countries. Will's office is in a converted warehouse and is suffering regular burglaries which are somewhat of a mystery to the police because the criminals seem to have possession of the alarm codes. The cleaning crew is suspect, but Will and his partner think there is another answer. They begin to stake out the business at night.

Through the burglaries, we meet the other family in crisis. Amira is a Bosnian refugee who is struggling to make a life for herself and her son, Miro who - under the influence of his crooked uncle - is part of the team committing the crimes.

After an unsuccessful attempt at another break-in by Miro, Will follows him home but does not confront him. Will discovers that Amira does sewing in her home. He decides to try to find out more about the boy by taking some clothes to his mother to be altered. Things get really complicated when Will becomes enamored of Amira.

This film is filled with great actors and great performances lead by Jude Law as Will and Juliette Binoche as Amira. I must admit that I really like Jude Law as an actor and in my mind, Juliette Binoche can do no wrong, so just watching these two interact was an exemplary treat. The young actor, Rafi Gavron, who plays the son is amazing. Plus, these three are supported by a long list of excellent actors headed by Robin Wright Penn and Ray Winstone.

I find a certain weakness in the ending of the film in the reaction of Will's wife to the whole situation. I don't know any woman who would have made the decisions she made. To say more would spoil the film for anyone interested in watching it, so I'll just leave it at that. If you enjoy watching interesting and complex adults dealing with interesting and complex problems, you'll probably really enjoy Breaking and Entering.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

visual, but not vigorous

Author: ruiresende84 ( from Porto, Portugal
23 February 2008

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 with architecture.

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

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fairly interesting drama about relationships.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
26 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The theme is "Breaking and Entering" but this movie is about relationships. The crime is just there to get the characters to meet. Interesting movie, not one of my favorites but good enough for one viewing.

Jude Law is Will Francis, co-partner in an architect firm situated in the Kings-Cross area of London, one known for petty crime. Their office has been burglarized several times, and it must be by someone who knows the alarm code. They suspect the cleaning crew.

Will has a 10-year partner, Robin Wright Penn as Swede Liv, who also has a 13 year old autistic daughter. Even though Will and Liv seem to get along well, he doesn't seem to be "inside the circle" which contains Liv and her daughter, even though the daughter refers to him as 'daddy.'

Will decides to stake out his building at night and eventually discovers that a young boy, 15, is climbing onto the roof and through a skylight and with binoculars reads the alarm code punched in as the cleaning crew leaves. Then, he breaks into the building from overhead and punches in the code before the alarm activates. After that he opens the doors so the real thieves can make off with the valuable computer equipment.

All this brings together the boy, Juliette Binoche as his mother Amira, and Will, not ready to be unfaithful to Liv but desperately looking for love.

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