Dormant Beauty (2014)
Critic Consensus: As complex and compelling a work as its ripped-from-the-headlines storyline deserves, Dormant Beauty serves as a delightfully thorny testament to director Marco Bellocchio and his talented cast.
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as Divina Madre
as Uliano Beffardi
as Marito Divina Madre
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Critic Reviews for Dormant Beauty
Despite the awkward narrative structure, the choppy film serves as a welcome showcase for ably understated performances from veteran Toni Servillo and rising talent Alba Rohrwacher, and a coolly burning Isabelle Huppert.
The film pits their honest passion against the stylized desperation of the actress' religious theater and the decadent hollowness of Berlusconi's political theater.
If "Dormant Beauty" does not rank among Mr. Bellocchio's best movies, it nonetheless still occasionally shows him at his best.
Unlike most movies that rely on TV-news reports to drive the story, Dormant Beauty is complex and humane, and never shrinks to mere spectacle.
Audience Reviews for Dormant Beauty
Just as Italy is torn over a comatose woman being taken off of life support, Uliano(Toni Servillo), a senator, is called back to Rome for a very important vote on the subject. At the same time, his daughter Maria(Alba Rohrwacher) travels to the woman's hospital to join the vigil. Along the way, she has water thrown in her face at a rest area. Coming to her rescue is Roberto(Michele Riondino) who also writes his phone number on her arm. As unfamiliar as I am with the events that inspired "Dormant Beauty," and with Italian politics in general, it does come as no surprise that Catholic Italy would lose its collective sanity in all proportion to a case involving privacy. That also serves to explain the heightened emotions that Maria is feeling towards Roberto. And if only the movie had stayed with Maria and her deeply conflicted father, this might have been truly something when there is enough in their respective stories for a feature. Instead, the movie muddles it with two other unrelated storylines, one involving Rossa(Maya Sansa) who is trying for the world record in self-destructtion and yet another comatose young woman. So, instead the central themes turn out to be whether anybody is too far gone to save, while transferring the damsel-in-distress syndrome from Italy to the movie itself with its four women in jeopardy. And in fact, outside of one truly classic do-you-know-who-you-are-dealing-with moment, there is sadly no reason for Isabelle Huppert to be present here either.
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