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Article

Respiro

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Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato
Respiro: Stefano D'Amadio

Respiro

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
95 minutes
Limited Release Date:
05/23/03
performer:
Vincenzo Amato, Valeria Golino
director:
Emanuele Crialese
distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics
author:
Emanuele Crialese
genre:
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it a B

In Respiro, Valeria Golino, shimmery as a mermaid, plays Grazia, an earthy Italian fisherman’s wife who’s entirely free-spirited — and also frequently so seriously crazy that her family and friends don’t know whether to admire her sexy follia or send her away for psychiatric treatment. Emanuele Crialese’s summery drama, set on the sunbaked island of Lampedusa, off the western coast of Sicily, sighs a bit too poetically about the romance of mental illness; Grazia’s mood swings inspire Felliniesque antics, including liberating a kennel of impounded wild dogs and peeling off her thin little dress for an impromptu romp in the sea (to the embarrassment of her protective teenage son). For all Golino’s comeliness, she’s upstaged by the windy beauty of the landscape, and by Crialese’s attention — in an Italian neorealist way — to the routines of daily life in an insular, traditional culture. (Fishing has rarely looked so fascinating.) Travel agents should prepare for a bump in tourism.

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