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|Index||88 reviews in total|
This movie is offered as an "Exclusive" at a major video chain, so we
gave it a try even though it never played theaters. Absolutely nothing
of any viewer interest happens during the initial 35 minutes. Well, OK,
we learn that being acrobatic comes in handy in the burglar trade.
Well, 3 cheers and a dog biscuit! The story is essentially nil, there
is no character development, and the London settings are not used to
My wife fell into Z-city and my eyelids were drooping so I stopped this DVD and put on "Music and Lyrics" and we both woke up. Where the 7, 8, or 9 ratings came from, I have no clue. This film is flat, boring, and a waste of your time.
Breaking and Entering Anthony Minghella's latest work is as anomalous
as it is rapture. The Academy Award winning director of "The English
Patient" has brought brutal honesty of a different type of culture but
I'm afraid the middle acts of the film leave the audience too
disenchanted and by the final act when it finally does pick up, we are
already lost in the quarrel of deceit and dialogue.
Minghella brings us the story of Will, (Jude Law) an architect who has just opened up his own company with his long time business partner Sandy (Martin Freeman). Unfortunately, they open up on a rough side of London and have a few "B & E's" before taking it upon themselves to sniff out the culprit. The culprit however, is a young fifteen year old boy, Miro (Rafi Gavron) who works for a gang of thugs who consists of his late father's side of the family. The acrobatic Miro must jump railings, rooftops, etc. in order to shake authorities but somehow finds himself intrigued by Will's architecture. When Will is not sniffing, he is distancing himself away from his long time girlfriend Liv (Robin Wright Penn) and her behaviorally challenged daughter Beatrice. The strain on their relationship has been ten years in the making with their unmarried lifestyle and soon to become familiar nature.
After many nights of sitting and having conversations with the local and extremely humorous prostitute, (Vera Farmiga) Will discovers his guilty party and pursues Miro all the way to his home. In Miro's home he lives with his hard-working and loving mother, Amira (Juliette Binoche) and Will's attraction is sparked immediately before even fathoming a mention of Miro. The two start a very involved and passionate love affair with Amira having no knowledge of Miro's extracurricular events.
Minghella does a fantastic job of wrapping us in the story from the premise of the film but somewhere in the ladder we are left on the side of the road in an unbalanced rising action. In its 120 minutes of running time, the audience meets and greets the characters; we are brought intimately with each of them and like Minghella's previous works, he introduces us with much dialogue but in this case it was not enough to suffice. While I admire the honesty, truth and expression of human weakness of the picture, I needed a little more to pull me along the story to keep me progressing.
As usual Gabriel Yared's score is evident and gives great conviction to each scene along with the beautiful camera work and editing and fortunately, the performances were sufficient enough to keep me intrigued in the story. Jude Law regrettably is "Dan" from "Closer" for a good duration of the film but rest assure by the final act he gives his best performance to date. Not entirely sure what happened the first 2/3 of the film but Law completely lost himself in "Will" for the resolution and emerged a true leading thespian. It is Law's final performance that saves the film from being ordinary to something a little more. I'm uncertain of his chances with the "Gold Man" because we've seen a Jude Law like this before and he's had excellent chemistry with Minghella as we saw in his previous nominated works. I suppose there's too much flaw in his armor to carry it all the way to battle.
Juliette Binoche has proved time and time again that she is a reliable actress to carry a film. As the refugee survivor "Amira," Binoche stretches out her legs to give us someone utterly heartbreaking and unlike what we've seen before. The admiration for "Amira" is in her strong and undying espousal for her son. Amira is determined to set her son straight on a path and you can't deny the love between them. It is in the intimate moments of laughing and kissing between the mother and son, that we find the emotional center of the tale. Minghella really deserves praise for directing and showing us one of the best mother-son moments of contemporary cinema. Binoche and Gavron are truly that good.
The standout and M.V.P. of the film is the no-less than perfect Robin Wright-Penn as Oscar's favorite lady; the suffering wife or in this case girlfriend. Wright has taken large steps in Indie films the past few years but she gives the Swedish and beautiful Liv, a sense of humanity that actresses like Winslet and Weisz can only pull off. "Liv" is an attentive mother, a loving girlfriend, but a woman with a tortured soul that by credits end you bring home with you. Despite some of her accent flaws, which came from time to time, Wright never leaves "Liv" unattended and gives the film the backbone needed to walk a very rough road. If there's any aspect of the film to nominate it is Robin Wright-Penn for charisma, zeal and dedication to a role that sounds formula-matic on paper but no formula in sight. There's much fondness in "Liv" and many women can relate to her character which is probably why she's so great.
As this was being touted as Minghella's best work to date, I might pass on that notion. We could see a worthy screenplay nomination and a much needed Maria Bello-like nomination for Robin Wright-Penn. (I'm telling you, it's that good) Other than that, nothing spectacular about the movie although it may appeal to crowds of Minghella stalkers and lovers but not to this critic.
See the film for one reason only....Vera Farmiga. She plays the hooker and for the approximate 10 minutes she's on the screen it comes alive. The experience reminded me of seeing 'Easy Rider' when first released and being hit with a jolt when Jack Nicholson lit up the screen. She is electric! (See how under used she is in 'The Departed'...wouldn't know it's the same actress).The others are all good but she's like a wake-up call! As a morality play I find there's only so much wallowing in others messy lives that I can take when they continue down the road of self destruction. I had no sympathy at all for Jude/Robin/daughter characters and wished that Ray Winstone & Julitte Binoche had been the heart of this story...would have been much more alive and unpredictable. Well photographed, the film captures a dark edge of today's London that makes one want to keep looking over one's shoulder.
Wow, I was hoping for a lot more than this.
It's script reads like a play and is stilted in the way most plays are.
People just don't talk like this.
Combined with poor casting and stiff direction it makes for a self aware and distancing film.
It seems a little over rehearsed as well and therefore very unnatural.
If you like good films, like '21 Grams', where the direction and acting is assured and the script beautifully fluid, you won't like this piece of poor theatre.
I didn't really want to say much more but I have to write ten lines. The shooting style is also stiff and I couldn't imagine one of the actors actually 'being' one of the parts. Even Ray Winstone as the east-end detective was arch and stilted. His lines were appallingly written, where much of the normal banter between people who don't know each other was dispensed for lines that assumed a relationship. Just like most middle-class, self aware theatre pieces. In fact the longer I write this the worse it gets. Can I stop now please ?
I found it pleasant for many reasons, although it is a little bit depressing. Provides a close-up picture of peculiar aspects of London and Londoner's life, with men and women behaving cruelly and cheating on each other and moreover handles intimate issues in an elegant and intelligent way. In "Breaking and entering" we watch people engaged in heart games but we also know about topics like sex interface, race and class; intellectually speaking the experiment is certainly worthy of wide attention, though not brand new, and definitely works successfully. As for the emotional level everything passed the examination for sure
I went to see the film yesterday, expecting something very special - it is easy to understand when the cast and director is such a brilliant bunch of talented people. But something went wrong. I am not sure when the story turned the wrong way but it didn't feel right nor real or sincere anymore. Quite a disappointment, really. I think there was something incomplete and insincere about Will's and Amira's love story. Too predictable? Not enough feelings? Anyway, Jude Law,Robin Wright Penn and Martin Freeman give a good performance. But that's it. If you expect real life drama, real feelings or something that will keep your thoughts captured even when you leave the cinema - this is the wrong film. Maybe I had too much expectations but that is not surprising when you see names like that on the poster. Juliette Binoche disappointed me this time. All the others act great but that was just not enough.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Breaking and Entering" strikes me as an effort by the extremely
talented Anthony Minghella to prove he is more than a director of epics
set against impressive landscapes. He is successful with enough of
"Breaking and Entering" to prove this point, but the film is still his
least satisfying. Lead characters who (as both written by Minghella and
played by Jude Law and Robin Wright Penn) seem like rejects from films
we know all too well almost fatally weigh him down.
****SLIGHT SPOILERS INCLUDED FROM THIS POINT ON**** Minghella certainly starts the film off intriguingly, with a heist at Law's architectural firm that is well orchestrated and which is later quite audaciously repeated. Whether given maximum or minimal screen time, all of the characters we come into contact with at and around the firm, either working there or investigating the break-ins, hold our attention effortlessly. Vera Farmiga steals it and damn near walks off with the film as a working girl whose beat includes the surrounding alleyway.
A third attempted and failed theft leads Law to the home of his cleaner, played by Juliette Binoche. She is a Bosnian refugee, and her son, working for a group led by his uncle, is the fleeing thief followed by Law. Binoche is as good as Farmiga, albeit in a far less flashy role, and this film could easily garner Oscar nominations for the two actresses. Rafi Gavran is similarly impressive as the conflicted son.
Unfortunately, the central focus of the film initially and ultimately is on the Law/Wright Penn relationship, and the two seem to be giving strained, acting-class level performances to prove how emotionally raw they can get. They are not helped by the heavy-handed metaphors their dialogue is laden with (nor is Law helped by his character's referring to his penchant for metaphors). Though their scenes never seem to be up to the level of the rest of the film, the film takes a nose-dive from which it never recovers when they get into an argument in their car. This scene is almost comically overwrought and is even less convincing than the weakest of those which precede it, including their trips to a therapist and an accident involving Wright-Penn's daughter at Law's work site. Law's final act on behalf of Binoche and Gavran also rings fatally false.
So, in spite of some unquestionably involving plot twists and outstanding supporting performances, "Breaking and Entering" is ultimately a misfire.
This is a terrific film with a few serious flaws, and anybody who says
otherwise is probably motivated by income rather than honesty.
There's an unfortunate trend in movie-making where everything has to be meaningful. Every action has an arc, every character gets back what he gives. In some films, this works seamlessly. In others -- "Crash," for instance -- it turns the film into unbelievable claptrap.
The end of "Breaking and Entering," sadly, is claptrap. Characters start acting the way the screenwriter wanted them to, rather than the way they would. Personally, I'd rather the film was believable rather than tied up in a neat little bundle.
Other major complaint: Robin Wright Penn is not a great actress, and here she plays a miserable, one-note character. Unfortunately this is a pivotal role in the film, and it totally undermines the wisdom of the ending.
The film is still being worked on, so it could still be one of the year's best. At this point, though, it's like a terrific boxer who takes a dive at the end of a fight.
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