An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
I hadn't read the novel by Margaret Mazzantini, but was enough prepared for the toughness of the story, however, I was deeply shocked by the harshness of the drama. The movie is certainly well built, being the director the novelist's husband, he could probably render best the real substance of the story and the characters. Moving forward and backwards in time is not something new, but always a gripping technique, letting the viewer catch the progress of the story little by little. Indeed, there's no haste in a sometimes too slow movie, the second part far better than the first, with a very good historical reconstruction of a debased Sarajevo under siege, because of a war we Europeans have forgotten too quickly. I liked the performances offered by Penelope Cruz, very intense but well balanced, Emile Hirsch is really great and there's a good empathy between the two. There's also an international variety of incisive, unconventional musical choices, from Nirvana to Bruce Springsteen. Sometimes overenthusiastic, they undoubtedly prove very forceful and the scene of bombing on the notes of "Something in the way" leaves the mark. On the whole, a very dramatic movie, where the horror of war and of the human species certainly prevails, but with a sense of hope which I found soothing and in a way necessary.
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