Facing Windows Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 3, 2010
A haunting film on memory, love and loss. Don't dismiss your dreams ~ Demand them!
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2008
What a brilliant movie, Touching & mind-blowing, Simply superb with great perfs & a beautiful music score, Interesting portrayal of realistic characters, A movie that manages to be emotional without falling into trite sentimentalism, A movie I won't forget easily
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2010
A complex, multi-layered tale that tried to veer off into bodice-ripper land a couple of times, but managed to steer clear. Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and her husband, Filippo (Filippo Nigro) find a disoriented old man on the street and take him in. The story revolves around their efforts to discover who he is and where he belongs. The presence of this mystery gentleman triggers repercussions in their marriage, their career choices, and their family dynamic. There was a voyeuristic aspect to the story that caused an overly Romantic diversion. This viewer felt that the story might have been stronger without that distraction. But, even allowing for that, the film itself proved to be quite entertaining. The actors delivered quite believable characters and the interactions were suitably complex, conveying mystery without being mystifying. The script seemed without unnecessary frills, except for the aforementioned romantic element, but even that cannot overshadow this viewer's general satisfaction. The scenery is muted as most of the action occurs at night, but there is beauty to be found in abundance here.
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2010
Intriguing. I have come to expect more from the top Italian films but this was interesting.
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2010
Part thoughtful drama, part soap opera, as an old man with memory loss gatecrashes into a squabbling married couple's life and proceeds to shake things up a bit. Watchable enough with some good observations and good acting along the way, but I'm not sure the ultimate message goes much beyond "follow your dreams", which Pixar does so much better.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2008
An interesting film from Italy. Worth seeing.
½ November 17, 2011
It's one of those movies that teaches us about ourselves. Giovanna Mezzogiorno was excellent. The movie very artfully intertwined the lives of these people in an meaningful way.
½ November 27, 2010
Nov 2010 - A nice romantic movie. The beginning, where we see the appearance of the old man and the development of the love, is the best part of the movie. Later on the movie falls into the trap of sentimentality especially with respect to the old man's memories. It would be much better if he would remain his quite distant schizophrenic self.
December 9, 2013
This was a very very good movie and the music was beautiful. Let's start with an old man with a tattoo on his arm, his past and the woman he meets who becomes part of his future, and throw in forbidden love, you get a fantastic plot.
June 5, 2012
Beautiful film from this expert italian director
February 5, 2011
profound and deep, entangled between two love stories in different time lines that meet in the present. Interesting no doubt. The only thing i found boring was the pacing, too slow for my taste.
January 11, 2010
Again, another criminally underrated movie by RT community, this effective Italian drama features a superb central performance by Giovanna Mezzogiorno, and characters that one can relate to in reality. The relationships between Giovanna and her husband/neighbor/Simone the old man all feel genuine. And the dilemmas she live sound true and compelling. I recommend this for anyone who appreciates character-driven dramas, where the focus is on the development of these characters and narrating a simple yet effective story, with one really heart-wrenching subplot about one old man's lost love.
½ October 4, 2005
I thought it was a good film, even with its' few faults. Characters were bit over the top at times, but generally, I really liked them. My favorite part was how irritable housewife(Giovanna) turned her life around in the end, and how it took an affair(kinda) and a stranger she did not like, for her to see things clearly. :) Not bad!
½ April 3, 2005
[font=Comic Sans MS]Captivating film, draws in the attentive viewer and entrances with a combination of memory, flashback, drama and suspense. I particularly appreciated the complexity of themes, including family, Holocaust, homosexuality, love, passion, work. [/font]
½ February 5, 2005
The heroines in Ferzan Ozpetek´s movies are always conflicted women who look their most beautiful while sad or contemplative - and that is very beautiful indeed. There was nothing earth-sattering about "Haman" or "Ignorant fairies" but they were restrained, sweet melodramas, also consistantly entertaining.

"Facing windows" is more of the same, maybe just a bit more ambitious. Telling two different stories set in the past and present, but also talking about what most melodramas talk about, the conflict between what you really want, and what you risk by trying to obtain it. So to speak, the romantic, passionate love, and the routine one, the not so attentive husband but a guy your life is based around, kids included.

Stories in Ozpetek´s movies were never that original, but were very told in their own terms. Here, I´m not so sure. Is it because the story in the past is never developed and takes too long to reveal the truth, when that is something you can see a mile away (or one hour of film or so) coming? Or just cause It doesn´t have that much to say and that is why its narrative is so morose?

The faces are still beautiful, the love story(es) are there, but It all should be more involving at the end. Apart from the nice music, I was mostly bored after half an hour. I felt I knew what was coming, and It wasn´t that interesting this time round.
August 1, 2004
I had no expectations entering this film because I had only barely heard of it. I wanted to see Before Sunset, but it had already started and I thought I might need to see Before Sunrise first.
Facing Windows is an interesting and often moving film from Italy. Things happen in the film and we're not sure why until later, characters evolve slowly before we really get to know them, and the movie takes its time in telling the story.
It begins at a bakery in Rome in1943, where two men are working in the night. They eye each other suspiciously before one attacks the other. A knife is drawn and one of them ends up killing the other, though its not clear whether he was strangled or stabbed. The film doesn't explain until much later the circumstances of this scene. The survivor runs out into the night and the film flashes forward to the present day, where a young married couple argues while walking down the street after leaving the grocery store. They run across an old man who says he can't remember who he is or how he got there. The husband doesn't want to leave him there, so above his wife's objections, they take him to their home where he spends the night. He tells one of the couple's children that his name is Simone, but he can barely remember anything else. He does often seem to have flashbacks though as he sees people and places from his past wherever he goes. And the story goes on from there. I can't explain much more than that because it is much better to just watch it and let the story unfold.
I will say that the story involves lots of very tasty-looking cakes, the woman's realization that the old man is a concentration camp survivor, a forbidden love affair the man had in his younger days, the often strained relationship between the wife and her husband, a handsome and mysterious man (who I thought resembled an Italian version of Richard Roeper) living in the apartment next door who the wife watches at night from her kitchen window, and the wife's nosey friend who encourages her to have an affair with the man. It's well acted, well photographed, has a stirring musical score, and I never quite knew where it was going. An interesting film, but not wholly satisfying and I found the ending a bit lacking.
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