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Showing 1-10 of 21 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 54 reviews
HALL OF FAMEon December 14, 2005
This is the best film I've seen in perhaps six months or more. The direction by Turkish/Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek is consistently interesting, intriguing, beguiling and ultimately satisfying both emotionally and intellectually. The film is beautifully cut, and the acting, particularly by the fascinating Giovanna Mezzogiorno who plays the young mother of two whose name is also Giovanna, is first rate.

The story begins in a bakery during World War II when Davide Veroli (Massimo Girotti) is a baker's apprentice. We see him among the great earthen ovens and the warm loaves as he makes what appears to be a sprint out of the cave-like establishment. But he is pounced upon by the baker. They wrestle, a knife is grabbed and apparently the baker falls and there is blood on Davide's hands as he runs out into the streets.

Cut to modern times as Giovanna and her working-class husband, Filippo (Filippo Nigro) are crossing a bridge in the city. They meet an old man who seems lost and disoriented. He can't remember his name and he has no identification. Filippo takes pity on him and against his wife's wishes takes him home with them to their apartment. We know because of the man's age that the mystery of who he is has something to do with the men in the bakery scene from World War II.

But his story is only tangential to the central story of the film which is about Giovanna's brief affair with the man next door, Lorenzo (Raoul Bova), whose apartment window faces hers. This is a love story, a bitter-sweet one--which all great love stories should be in some sense, since life itself is bittersweet. It is framed by, and contrasted with, another love story, that involving the older man from many years ago.

The tension in the film revolves around the resolution of the affair between the married Giovanna and the handsome man who will soon be leaving the city. Will she abandon her marriage and her family for the excitement of a new man? Because the police can find out nothing about the old man, and because Giovanna's heart softens toward him, and because he is an elegant man of refinement, especially in the pastry arts--Giovanna's dream is to be a pastry chef--the man is allowed to stay for a while and the two are drawn together into friendship, the old man and the young woman.

That's enough of the plot--the development, the denouement, and the resolution of which are beautifully realized in both an artistic and an emotional sense. Instead let me say that the feel of modern Italy with its racial tensions and its old world versus new world differences are nicely expressed as the past makes itself felt on the present. The dialogue is wonderfully expressive and gives us the sense of authenticity and the kind of realistic effect seen only in the very best films. This is the first film directed by Ozpetek that I have seen, but it won't be the last.

But see this for Giovanna Mezzogiorno whose beautiful and expressive eyes and natural demeanor will hold you to the screen.
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on February 9, 2016
Excellent very entertaining movie about love and the beautiful quality of valuing and helping someone without casting judgement. It's also very interesting and motivational. It uses truth to get us to think about how to treat individuals the way we would like to be treated and to make sure that past injustices are not allowed to be repeated in our generation. ogeneration.I,tmotivationaltointeumovie
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on April 26, 2016
This movie was really good. It had such a good storyline. My husband really enjoyed this movie too. The actors gave wonderful portrayals of the characters. They felt like people you might actually meet. I would watch this movie over and over again.
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on August 26, 2004
"Facing Windows" (La Finestra Di Fronte) is about the mis-connections, the social and personal things that keep us apart, keep us from loving how and whom we really want and doing what we really want to do.

Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) is living a life that she doesn't want: she loves her children and her job pays well but her husband Filippo is irresponsible; jumping from one job to the next: he's the proverbial child-man never accepting responsibility for his actions.

One night when Giovanna and Filippo are out for the evening they come upon an old man, obviously not a bum, who is disoriented and speaking of things long gone by. Over Giovanna's objections, Filippo takes the man Davide (Massimo Girotti) home with them. However grudgingly she does, Giovanna comes to realize, through the course of the film, that it is fate and good luck really that has brought she and Davide together. And more to the point it is Davide who snaps Giovanna out of her self-imposed ennui by telling her: "Your problem is that you've turned your passion (making pastry) into a hobby when it should have been the foremost thing in your life."

"Facing Windows" operates on several levels: as a detective story, as a love story and as a story of family and of marriage. But more importantly, it is about Giovanna waking up and realizing her potential and her dreams of fulfilling it; things like many of us, she has squandered and suppressed for a thousand "good" reasons.
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on May 28, 2014
Facing Windows is a classic, the essence of modern Italian filmmaking by Italy's premier director Franz Ozpetek. Of course, you expect everything he does to be superb. And this is a superb production. The characters, the plot, the scenery, the dialogue are outstanding. You don't get much better filmmaking than this--in a class with Cinema Paradiso and Il Postino.
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on May 23, 2016
Wonderfully nuanced film about the way relationships wax & wane. It looks at the responsibilities between friends, spouses, lovers & asks the question "what is family".
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on March 2, 2009
I stumbled onto this movie and another foreign film (City With No Limits) in a bargain bin of used movies at the local chain rental store, and little did I know that I had found gold! Others have outlined the basic plot and commented on the finest points of this movie, and I couldn't agree with them more. From beautiful faces, to mysteries of plot, to the sweetly understated ending, I found this film to be quietly heroic. What a shame that the manufacturer has discontinued production of this DVD. Make every effort to see this one, & if you get so lucky as to find this for sale as a bargain, do not pass it by!
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on April 19, 2016
It was a good movie. Entertaining but kinda sad over all. Rented it because I'm learning Italian and am watching Italian movies with subtitles so I did enjoy it.
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on August 10, 2015
Beautiful and sensitive movie! Ferzan Ospetek and Pedro Almodóvar are great European film director. It is a must to watch their movies!
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on March 12, 2013
I liked this movie a lot, however, it was hard to keep up with the characters and storyline. If you can get over the subtitles you will be able to apprecite the movie. The actors do a great job...the plot is believable...but one must pay attention from beginning to end...to fully enjoy the movie.
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