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RESPIRO

An earthy Sicilian woman behaves with such abandon that her husband’s family threatens to cart her off to Milan for psychiatric treatment.

CAST: Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato, Francesco Casisa, Veonica D’Agostino, Filippo Pucillo, Emma Loffredo, Elio Germano, Avy Marciano

DIRECTOR: Emanuele Crialese

"…bursts with such pulsing vitality and sensual appreciation of nature that you can almost taste the salty air and feel the sun beating down on your shoulders…Beginning with Ms. Golino, whose Grazia radiates a free-spirited vitality that recalls the young Sophia Loren, the movie has wonderfully naturalistic performances…Not since ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ has a movie so palpably captured the down-to-earth, flesh-and-blood reality of high-spirited people living their lives without self-consciousness." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Golino gives a subtle performance in a role written as a cliche; the real find here is young Francesco Casisa, as the son who comes of age while aiding his mother in this family crisis. Beautifully shot, it can be haunting, though it sometimes feels insubstantial." --Marshall Fine, The Journal News

"This tale of a young Sicilian boy (Francesco Casisa) and his free-spirited, troubled mother (Valeria Golino)—who constantly attracts the scorn of their conservative fishing village—is anything but sunny and bright, delving into issues of madness, love, and family trust with an expert eye. Gorgeous and disturbing, with a searing performance by Golino holding it all together." --Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

"Emanuele Crialese's ‘Respiro’ (I Breathe) is beautifully directed, but that doesn't keep it from seeming faintly silly…The film doubtless works better for those able to accept it unquestioningly as a charming fable of the redemptive, healing power of love that it means to be. Crialese certainly does capture the overwhelming sensuality of its many beautiful people and its sun-drenched locale…It might just be that Crialese's most impressive accomplishment is that he has been able to create an often highly seductive film without any actual sex whatsoever." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"'Respiro’ is one of those movies set in the Mediterranean -- where the light bleaches the landscape and clarifies the water -- that make you want to hop a plane immediately on a one-way ticket…Crialese firmly establishes the rhythms of island life in gentle increments, and coaxes endearingly gruff performances out of the children who play Grazia's protective sons…‘Respiro’ is a beautifully composed tone poem about unspoken group dynamics in an isolated community. It is also, in its way, about how love endures." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"A shimmering, mystical beauty emanates from every frame of Emanuele Crialese's ‘Respiro,’ a contemporary fable of family and community that engulfs the viewer in its sun-splashed Mediterranean landscape. Some of that intoxication, to be fair, should be credited to a pair of exceptionally camera-friendly actors: Valeria Golino and Francesco Casisa…Gorgeously shot by Fabio Zamarion to highlight the aqueous blues and greens of its Lampedusa locale, it's like falling into a rabbit hole lined with fabulous Mediterranean postcards." --Jan Stuart, Newsday

"‘Respiro’ has a sexy cast and is gorgeous to watch -- but it takes more than that to make a movie worth seeking out…the plot is thin and superficial, the characters stereotypical, and the mood increasingly melodramatic." --V.A. Musetto, The New York Post