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Twice Born (2013)



Average Rating: 3.9/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 12

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,402

My Rating

Movie Info

Italian actor/director Sergio Castellitto takes the helm for this romantic war drama concerning a mother who finds her memories of a tragic romance stirred during a trip to Sarajevo with her teenage son. The year was 1984. With the Winter Olympics fast approaching, Gemma (PenÚlope Cruz) was in Bosnia when she fell in love with dashing American photographer Diego (Emile Hirsch). Their passions burned bright during their brief time together, but shortly after Gemma voiced her desire to become a



Margaret Mazzantini, Sergio Castellitto

Feb 25, 2014


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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (18)

It's debatable whether the best love stories are also the "weirdest," as Emile Hirsch's character declares in "Twice Born." But they do require chemistry, the missing piece in his pairing with PenÚlope Cruz.

January 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Sergio Castellitto's film projects a tumultuous love story against the backdrop of the Bosnian War for independence, and then seems unaware that the foreground overshadows it in the worst possible way.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: TheWrap
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"Twice Born" chokes to death on its own melodrama.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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A magnificent performance from Penelope Cruz.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Richard
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Yes, it's all as clunky and tasteless as the description suggests, and the awkward casting doesn't improve this overlong drama.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One odd movie, from the casting of its leads to its backdrop to its final twist.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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The type of cinematic slog one watches and thinks, 'This would actually be much more interesting as a book.' And that makes sense, really, since that's its original medium.

December 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Sergio Castellitto's film quickly turns out to be more interested in reveling in the secrets of its storyline than in its sentiments.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

This European production is thoroughly cheesy and phony, nowhere less so than in its florid, undeliverable dialogue, which sounds like it's been translated, poorly, from various languages into English.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro

Castellitto clings to the Duraflame fires within for Twice Born, a handsomely crafted but empty feature hoping to recreate Eastern European horror and soap opera intimacy.

December 5, 2013 Full Review Source:

When setting a love story in a war-torn environment, it's nice to actually recognize the who, what and why of the conflict.

December 5, 2013 Full Review Source: RedEye

It was doomed before the first scene was shot.

December 4, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

An old fashioned war romance that benefits from its third act surprises.

December 4, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Audience Reviews for Twice Born

This Italian war love story/drama is directed by Sergio Castellitto. It is based on a novel by Margaret Mazzantini. I will really suggest this film mostly for Europeans who are familiar with the war on the Balkans, because the major complaint against this movie comes from critics from the United States (I will quote one of them but I read few with similar comments) and go around the line "when setting a love story in a war-torn environment, it's nice to actually recognize the who, what and why of the conflict -- not just treat it like an inconvenience to personal happiness" (Matt Pais, Chicago Red Eye) ! That is why I suggest , if you are not familiar with the war on the Balkans DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE, but if you know the background of it - DO NOT MISS IT!

The story adapted for the big screen by the author of the novel Margaret Mazzantini and the director Sergio Castellitto was told in flashbacks. Lovely Italian Gemma (Penelope Cruz) meets cheerful American Diego (Emile Hirsch) in Bosnia, and it was love on the first sight, but she thinks this 23-year-old photographer is too young for her... but Diego doesn't take no for an answer! They have to leave and the next flashback is after some time when she's getting divorced... Diego shows up having the perfect timing thanks to Gemma's dad who recognizes her real love for Diego and supports it. I won't go into details of the story, but there are few engaging twists on the way with elements of a thriller. Of course, in a story like this there will be plenty of melodramatic elements but they were well suited.

Acting of most of the actors was delightful to watch, and casting was well done. There were some minor mistakes, but we all have them. It seems that somehow the historical facts were sometimes blurred to make the story more dramatic and appealing for the political sentiments... but I expected that, it seems a normal procedure these days in the art.

Not a masterpiece, but very enjoyable!
May 21, 2014
Panta Oz

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Foreign Titles

  • Twice Born (Venuto al mondo) (DE)
  • Twice Born (Venuto al mondo) (UK)
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