Admittedly, I’m slightly obsessed with this movie. The cinematography is completely amazing, so it’s worth watching just for that. Respiro is set in Sicily, and is centred around the portrayal of family values/ the role of different members of the family as is so traditionally important in Italy (particularly in the south). The shots of the beaches and cliffs are so vivid, it makes you feel like you’re there in a way no film has ever done for me… It’s especially interesting watching the movie after having recently visited Sicily, but obviously the side I saw was the touristic and cultivated one. The side portrayed in this movie, on the other hand, is a lot more honest, raw and wild, and ultimately real. Shots of young boys gutting fish lined up in a big room resonate particularly – you get such a sharp insight into their extremely different culture and way of life. Respiro won various awards at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and it’s really not hard to see why. An added bonus is that the movie is kinda short (an hour and a half) so there’s not really time to get bored (as I do, easily)…
Weeeeeell this is an interesting movie. Slightly confusing in parts, but none the less an enjoyable one to watch. Firstly, it’s in Turkish, which is interesting in itself. It’s not what anyone would define a ‘beautiful’ movie, in any sense of the word. None the less, it definitely makes you think, which can only be a good thing. (I guess? Can thinking ever be bad?) The title of the movie – Once upon a time in Anatolia – is rather mysterious. Anatolia is a region in modern-day Turkey (hence the movie being in Turkish) but throughout history has been owned/inhabited by a number of different groups of people. The plot is interesting in that there isn’t really one… It starts with some police interviewing a guy who has committed a murder, and now has to help the police search for the body he hid. Conveniently, he has forgotten where exactly he left it. Probably the most interesting thing about this movie is it’s unusually slow pace – it is, after all, a kind of crime-story which are usually rather fast. Once upon a time in Anatolia has been described as having an “anti-dramatic narrative”, which is more or less accurate… I’d say watch it for the amazing cinematography and the ideas behind it, rather than the ‘story’ itself.
Although it came out a year and a half ago in France, this movie only hit our screens last September, and had mixed reviews (from real critics). To be honest, we have to disagree with what most of the critics said… It was suuuuch a great movie, and absolutely hilarious in parts. The acting is really, really good and it’s not as clichéd as it could have been… We’d definitely recommend it (although half the newspaper reviewers wouldn’t).
This is what Philip French of the Observer has to say about it:
“Based on a true story” but more than a little tweaked, this popular movie is to be France’s entry for the best foreign language film Oscar. It’s a polished account of the odd-couple friendship between Philippe (François Cluzet), a rich, handsome, cultivated quadriplegic, and his new carer, Driss (Omar Sy), an intelligent, charismatic, uneducated young working-class west African who has done time for robbery. What draws them together is their total honesty, sense of humour and contempt for stuffy bourgeois hypocrisy, and the general gaucheness of nearly everyone around them. It’s as slick as an oil spill, as sugary as an eclair, and many moviegoers will find it irresistible.”