This triangular love story with an entirely unique perspective revolves
around Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) whose external attractions and
internal difficulties are constantly reflected in her expressive, intelligent
eyes. You'll like being with this fine actress as she labors to control her
feelings with regard to exasperatingly unambitious hubby Filippo (Filippo
Nigro), to hunky neighbor Lorenzo (Raoul Bova), and to the amnesiac elderly
man (Massimo Girotti) Filippo insists on bringing home. It's a lot to
contend with. Its elements of personal growth mixed with serious and complex
issues make it more than a formulaic love story. Its surprising turns are
part of the appeal.
When, during a stroll, Giovanna and Filippo come upon Davide (Girotti), an
elderly man who is bewildered and aimless, he's capable only of repeating the
name, "Simone." Sympathetic Filippo insists against Giovanna's impatience
that they harbor him for the night and take him to the police station the
Disgusted as she is with Filippo's failure to do as promised, she becomes
fascinated with the mystery and identity of the old man. On quite another
side of her inquisitive nature, she is developing a different kind of
fascination for the handsome young bachelor whose apartment window opposite
hers allows for nighttime spying and a little clandestine panting. The need
for passion in her life is evident while she staves off financial hardship
with her pastry baking for a local restaurant-bar.
When Davide's memory slowly returns it becomes apparent that he's a gentle
man with hidden secrets, but the revelation of the mystery is thwarted when he
wanders away around the time she meets Lorenzo and allows the attraction to
build. But Lorenzo is being transferred and if something physical is going
to happen between them, decisions are imminent.
As far as love goes, hers for baking is given a surprise boost when she
finally learns the identity and location of Davide. An equal surprise is the
effect her fling with Lorenzo will have at home.
While there's no escaping the feeling that Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and the
wide scope of holocaust drama had something to do with this story, the
feeling of a paste-up job is also inescapable. And while the faults glare,
the draw that satisfies is Mezzogiorno's performance, one that speaks of a
deeply internal conviction in the woman she's portraying. That director
Ferzan Ozpetek understands the intense power in the eyes of his actress is
made evident by the last, lingering shot of her, an image that he knows
will leave an impression.
~~ Jules Brenner