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Respiro (2002)

Valeria Golino , Vincenzo Amato , Emanuele Crialese  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato, Francesco Casisa, Veronica D'Agostino, Filippo Pucillo
  • Directors: Emanuele Crialese
  • Writers: Emanuele Crialese
  • Producers: Anne-Dominique Toussaint, Domenico Procacci, RaphaŽl Berdugo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C23T0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Respiro" on IMDb

Special Features

  • In Italian with English subtitles

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A sunny seaside location and the radiant beauty of Valeria Golino are enough to set the mood in "Respiro", a fitfully effective Italian film. Hollywood never quite figured out what to do with Golino, but she blossoms in this story about a sensual wife who's either free-spirited or manic-depressive, depending on your perspective. Her fisherman husband (Vincenzo Amato) finally decides to have her sent away for professional help, which only provokes an even more impulsive act from her. Within this story is a pointed critique of male machismo--Italian style. Director Emanuele Crialese veers between the neo-realist tradition and a more Fellini-esque taste for symbolism, never quite settling on one or the other. But the whiff of classic-era Italian film is welcome, and the seasoned, sun-baked presence of La Golino makes this movie compelling even when its point seems obscure. "--Robert Horton"

Amazon.com

A sunny seaside location and the radiant beauty of Valeria Golino are enough to set the mood in Respiro, a fitfully effective Italian film. Hollywood never quite figured out what to do with Golino, but she blossoms in this story about a sensual wife who's either free-spirited or manic-depressive, depending on your perspective. Her fisherman husband (Vincenzo Amato) finally decides to have her sent away for professional help, which only provokes an even more impulsive act from her. Within this story is a pointed critique of male machismo--Italian style. Director Emanuele Crialese veers between the neo-realist tradition and a more Fellini-esque taste for symbolism, never quite settling on one or the other. But the whiff of classic-era Italian film is welcome, and the seasoned, sun-baked presence of La Golino makes this movie compelling even when its point seems obscure. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(27)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are there still people and places like this? February 19, 2004
Format:DVD
Poking around the internet for reviews of this film the words "inscrutable," "pointless," and "underdeveloped" keep cropping up. Could my taste for film really be that bad? Upon reading the reviews, however, it becomes apparent that most have missed the point of the film.
Respiro is about a fishing village in Lampedusa and probably thousands of other small villages in the world where AN EFFORT TO FEIGN OR SHOW RESPECT (face-saving) goes a hell of a long way.
Pietro is a fisherman who acts like the bad-ass patriarch in public, but is soft as a marshmallow at home. One scene that showed this is when a neighbor demands punishment for Pietro's son's for misconduct, Pietro manhandles the kid then placates the man by asking him to whip the boy. When the man refuses and tells Pietro to discipline the kid himself, a quick and subtle expression hesitation flashes across his face before he belts the boy a few quick ones. This act of deference to the neighbor is immediately accepted with gratitude and almost relief by the plaintiff, and all is settled.
Another humorous scene shows Pietro telling his wife Grazia to take a hike because he is engaged in "man-talk" with a couple of pals. When she leaves we find out the conversation is about Pietro's son winning a train-set at a toy stall.
This sort of phony machismo is also played out in fights the village youth gangs engage in. No one really throws punches but instead everyone rolls around on the ground. This ritualized fighting appears to allow all to let off steam without developing true animosity.
Even the local cops feign machismo by engaging in a not-so-high speed chase of three harmless girls on a Vespa.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just 'Breathe' in the Joy of this Special Tale November 9, 2004
Format:DVD
RESPIRO is one of those Italian treasures of a film, this time written and directed by the insightful Emanuele Crialese, that isolates humanity in a place where all the joys and foibles of living become cogently the entire point of the story. RESPIRO mixes the gut-level Italian response to life with the surreal flights of fancy made famous by Fellini.

Lampedusa is a Mediterranean island between Sicily and Tunisia that is baked by the sun and is far enough away form the culture of Italy to be a return to the native. The population is all involved in fishing. On this picturesque island lives Grazia (the beautiful and talented Valeria Golina) who appears to be a wonderfully free spirit but is actually a bipolar personality. She lives happily with her fisherman husband Pietro and her children: teenage Marinella (Veronica D'Agostini), Pasquale (Frncesco Casisa - a very fine little actor!) and Filippo (Filippo Pucillo). The boys adore their mother and their father and often make excuses for their mother's wild behavior patterns to the villagers who view her as a menace.

When Grazia's actions come under scrutiny by Pietro and he considers the advice of the grandmother (Muzzi Loffredo) who occasionally gives Grazia tranquilizing injections when her manic side surfaces and suggests Grazia needs psychiatric help in Milan, Grazia runs away to hide in a grotto, her whereabouts are known only to Pasquale.

The little village mentality merges and the people search the waters for what they feel must be the death of Grazia, only to discover on St Bartolo's Day that Grazia is blithely swimming in the ocean. How this affects the village and the lives of this tender family is the secret of the movie: revealing the ending would dissipate the joy of RESPIRO.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I enjoyed my actually viewing of 'Respiro' - especially director Emanuele Crialese's stunning underwater photography (most notably in one of the most unique and mystical endings ever filmed) and in seeing that someone finally figured out how to make use of Valeria Golino's quirky beauty. US audiences will recall her from her appearance 17 (!!) years ago as a 22-year-old stunner in 'Rainman.'

What I didn't like about 'Respiro' was the US marketing of this film and need to deceive renters/buyers. First, there's the tagline used stateside: "As unique as the paradise she lived in." Ummm, no. Crialese's Lampedusa is hardly one depicted as paradise. We see its working-class residents struggling to scratch out a living, and are given the feeling of an island so disconnected from mainland Italy so as to lag and suffer behind the times.

Next, we get a cover image of a smiling Galino and on-screen husband Pietro (as played by Vincenzo Amato). While there's no doubt that Pietro deeply loves his wife, this sunny scene between the two never comes close to reflecting the on-screen relationship. Pietro falls into the category of "long-suffering" with a wife who is almost certainly an undiagnosed manic-depressive (Galino's mother-in-law complains of 'highs that are too high and lows that are too low').

Third, there's the blurb on the back of the box that says "some even say she is crazy, but her youngest son is the only one who knows the truth." Well, they're not even paying attention here: Galino's protector is her *oldest* son, Pasquale. And, far from knowing the truth about his mother, he is simply out to shield her from the withering chatter of the town's residents, who quite literally have driven her from the town.

I'll encourage those of you who have seen and appreciated "Respiro" to try the recent "I'm Not Scared," which - much like 'Respiro' - depicts the often-suffocating pressure of raising a family in a small, distant town.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fine
Published 25 days ago by virgilio e. hoffmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful movie!
Published 3 months ago by N. Gressin
3.0 out of 5 stars but the island looks beautiful and the water appears to be crystal...
The story line is a bit thin, but the island looks beautiful and the water appears to be crystal clear. We hope to get there one day for a family vacation.
Published 3 months ago by Michael R. Minardi
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange and a little crazy, but also a little bit fun
Gariza does not fit in with her neighbors and in-laws in their Mediterranean paradise. She is a free spirit and none of the other adults have any patience with her and spread... Read more
Published 7 months ago by John Black
1.0 out of 5 stars Animal abuse in a small town
The acting is fine to show life in a small village. Golino, the focus of the movie portrays a troubled woman is outsize for the village. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Linda J. Cannon
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless
A one star reviewer wrote on 5/22/2004, "Hopelessly Enigmatic" -- May I just repeat his whole review here? Well, go read that one. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Tina
5.0 out of 5 stars The Montagues and Capulets are Alive and Well ...
... not in Shakespeare's Verona but on the small island of Lampedusa, where they are as tumultuous and ungovernable as ever. Lampedusa is an island of 20.2 square kilometers (7. Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by Giordano Bruno
1.0 out of 5 stars Starts with appalling animal abuse
The very first scene in this movie features a gang of wild boys trapping and killing little birds with their hands, then roasting and eating them. Read more
Published on December 1, 2011 by J. Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars respiro
This movie is very different from most Italian films I've seen. Taking place on an island with fantastic beauty, it was very compact in content. Read more
Published on September 1, 2011 by ell-kee
3.0 out of 5 stars boys running semi-naked
A film of boy-gangs hanging around warm Italian sea and making fun of making each other naked running home while special young mother of two young teens struggled with... Read more
Published on December 9, 2009 by Michael Kerjman
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