Adapted from the best-selling novel by margaret mazzantini this is a dramatic and emotional story of a love affair between two desperate people. Studio: Genius Products Inc Release Date: 05/08/2007 Starring: Penelope Cr... more »uz Claudia Gerini Run time: 125 minutes« less
Penelope Cruz like you've never seen her before...
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/31/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't Move is outrageous and totally unbelievable and its full of unbridled histrionics, but luckily Penelope Cruz's impassioned performance as an unglamorous, multi-ethnic refuge living in Italy saves the day in this awkward and structurally uneven melodrama. This film is all about men and how they cheat on women, and how women are the victims of men and how men end up getting what they want no matter what the cost to women.
Sergio Castellito - also the movie's director - plays wealthy doctor Timoteo. Life seems good as he has a decorous marriage to the loving Elsa (Claudia Gerini), a brittle, ridiculously pretty clotheshorse and a thriving career. One afternoon, on the way to a medical conference, his car breaks down, so he enlists the help of Italia (Cruz), a trashy hotel cleaner.
Their relationship begins on a dreadfully violent note - he brutally rapes her, treating her as an escape valve for his worst fantasies of dominance. But something also begins to draw him back to her. Unashamedly lying to his wife, Timoteo returns again and again to Italia and the two gradually develop something resembling a relationship. When Italia turns up pregnant at the same time as the wife, the drama starts to really over-cook.
Whilst Timoteo flashes back to his affair with Italia, we are also given the parallel story of his teenage daughter teenage daughter (Elena Perino) who lies near death in his hospital after a moped accident. As the surgeon stands vigil and his colleagues try to save the girl, he reflects on whether the tragedy might be karmic settlement for previous misdeeds. Of course, with both Italia and Elsa pregnant, Timoteo is faced with some difficult choices - he feels desperately loyal to his wife, but he's also frantically in love with Italia and admits that he can't live without her.
As flashback is piled on top of flashback, the film ends up having a disjointed and structurally awkward quality, which ends up inhibiting much of the action. The sex is also remarkably devoid of titillation, with the most outrageous scene coming about half way through the film where Italia and Timoteo have rain-soaked and grubby sex in the back of a filthy dark alley - she even gets to keep her red shoes on.
By then the film has sort of worn out it's welcome, and most viewers will probably be tired of all the morbid and somewhat misogynistic histrionics being played out. The problem with this film is Timoteo doesn't imbue much sympathy with the viewer - as an Italian version of a male chauvinist pig, who is perfectly comfortable with being somewhat violent towards women and dogs, and compared to what becomes of Italia, he gets off quite lightly.
Castellito does solid work as the meticulous doctor who spends most of the movie behaving like a jerk and Cruz definitely steal the show as Italia. She gives an earthy, rounded and totally vulnerable performance complete with blowsy makeup, crummy teeth, too-tight skirts, and wild hair -- but she gets you to feel for her character and even understand what makes her tick.
The movie as a whole is just so unfocused and dramatically strained, and the narrative is all over the place. Also, the inclusion of western pop music at certain moments doesn't fit with the story and it's shocking to see how Italia would cling to a man so willing to abuse her - yes, there is a reason she's like this, but that doesn't make it any more realistic that she would let it happen.
Indeed, there are some powerful emotional moments that work well, but for most of the movie you feel like you're being manipulated by blatant and contrived melodramatics. Mike Leonard July 06. "
A Beautiful Film
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 07/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Don't Move" is an Italian film starring Penelope Cruz ('Vanilla Sky') who is doing what other actresses (Juliette Binoche in 'Cache') have done. After scoring big as an American actress in American films, she returns to her Italian-roots to be in an Italian film. "Don't Move" is an interesting film, it's told out of chronological order. The movie is centered around a disaster, while the main characer flashes back. The main character, by the way, is Timoteo (played by the director Sergio Castellitto). The movie opens with a beautiful shot of rain falling, when we see a young girl being raced into a hospital after apparently having an accident. A few moments later, a nurse walks up to Timoteo (who's a doctor) and tells him that it's his daughter Angela. Flashing backwards, we see Timoteo breaking down in a small italian town and meeting Italia (Cruz). After going back to her house with her, Timoteo rapes her...It's not a vicious rape scene, it's actually pretty tame. It doesn't even really look like rape. Rest assured, this is far from Monica Bellucci in "Irreversible." Well, Timoteo returns to his life and proposes to his girlfriend...But eventually returns to Italia to set things right; But then he continues having an affair with her. I think the ending is kind of predictable, you know which way the romance is heading throughout the entire thing but I don't think the writers gave a damn whether you knew that or not. This movie has some beautiful scenes and beautiful dialogue, which probably wouldn't work in an American film. Director Castellitto is a gifted director that is also a wonderful actor, he really puts his heart into his performance. As for Cruz, she's great too. She gives an Oscar worthy performance but, oddly enough, she looks like crap. I don't know if they didn't let her wear makeup or just put too much on. I mean she really looks terrible in this movie. If you think Penelope Cruz is hot, don't see this movie because it might ruin your view of her. Also, if you're renting this movie merely for sex scenes (the cover strongly implies that there are some) this isn't your movie. There's several sex scenes, but there's little nudity in this film. The only nudity is shown during hospital scenes. But, if you're into foreign films that are wonderfully done and have incredible acting. Then check this movie out.
GRADE: A- "
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 06/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dr. Timoteo Rossi (Sergio Castellitto) has the perfect life: a beautiful wife Elsa (the glorious Claudia Gerini), a smart daughter and a medical practice that is the envy of all his friends. There is only one problem, though he loves his daughter, he's not really in love with Elsa because he can't get Italia (Penelope Cruz) out of his mind, thoughts and even actions. Everything reminds him of Italia and his brief but fervent affair with her. Castellitto, who also directs here, has fashioned his film with more than a nod towards Roberto Rossellini and the Italian Neo-Realism films of the 1950's: Cruz is even made up to look like a new millennium Sophia Loren. But that is about the only similarity between the two for Cruz has a tenderness and vulnerability as Italia that Loren never had and that Cruz has never, up to this point, exhibited on the screen. Cruz's Italia is average looking and takes nothing for granted: she is content with having only as much as Timoteo is willing to give her, as she says to him: "I don't care if you come back once a week, once a month or once a year...just come back." There is a heart-breaking scene close to the end of the film between Italia and Timo that is performed only in close-ups: the camera moving back and forth between the two, which is a textbook treatise on film acting: eyes, face, eyes... that says volumes without any dialogue. Castellitto, so good as an actor in "Mostly Martha," has directed a film with a master's eye. His scene compositions are beautiful and his astute sensibilities, particularly in the scenes between Timo and Italia, mark him as a director in possession of uncommon grace and a transcendant inner fire that hopefully will stay light for many films to come. "
An Epic Tale of Obsession and Possession and the Conflicts o
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Non ti muovere' ('Don't Move') requires a lot from its audience - concentration, understanding about the extremes of control versus passion, and a willingness to stay with the nonlinear method of storytelling that novelist Margaret Mazzantini and screenwriter/director/star Sergio Castellitto have elected to use. This may be a little film about a few people, but the exposition of the story feels epic in its proportions (over two hours in length) and in the flamboyance of its production. In the end the demands of the film, in this viewer's mind, reward the viewer handsomely.
The time is the present, a rainy day when a fifteen year old girl experiences a motorbike accident. The victim is immediately transported to the hospital where her head is shaved and she enters neurosurgery in what seems like a futile attempt to save her life. Coincidentally one of the prominent surgeons at the hospital is Timoteo (Sergio Castellitto) and he is informed by a staff nurse Ada (Angela Finocchiaro) that the victim is Timoteo's daughter. Devastated by watching his young child undergo surgery his mind flashes back to the time of her birth, a time when, married to a beautiful but cold woman Elsa (the beautiful and talented Claudia Gerini), he has an affair with a common woman Italia (an extraordinary performance by the gifted Penélope Cruz). Timoteo's usual controlled model surgeon and husband had thrown reason to the wind as he became obsessed with the raw passion of a sexually dominated relationship with the tacky appearing but genuine and emotionally abused Italia. Their relationship may have started with a rape but it develops despite the misgivings of both Timoteo and Italia into a profoundly felt love. Italia becomes pregnant, knowing that Timoteo is married: she is willing to take any part of him she can have as her only other memory of a relationship was an abusive one when her own father raped her as a young girl. Timoteo is conflicted: his wife Elsa becomes pregnant yet he wishes to run away with Italia. The wise but vulnerable Italia aborts her pregnancy and opens the door for the manner in which she works out her history with Timoteo. All of this story Timoteo confesses to his daughter Angela, lying comatose after her surgery. And all of the elements of the story coalesce.
The performances by both Cruz and Castellitto won many awards and well deserved they are. Cruz proves that she is one of the most gifted actresses before the cameras today and it seems a shame that her Italian and Spanish movies acknowledge her gifts while her American movies place her in rather silly roles where her natural beauty seems to be more important.
While this film is not without flaws, the power of becoming involved with the characters is sweepingly forceful. This may not be an easy movie to watch but committing to it intellectually is most rewarding. Grady Harp, October 06"
Brilliant and haunting performance by Penelope Cruz
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Timoteo (Sergio Castellitto, who also directed) is a surgeon whose car breaks down in a working class neighborhood of a great Italian city. Italia (Penelope Cruz) is a denizen of this part of town who lets Timoteo use her phone. She works as a cleaner of hotel rooms. She is crude, a little desperate, uneducated and so passive that she more or less allows Timoteo to rape her, a rape that she experiences without emotion, as something that society perhaps has taught her to accept as her due. Timoteo comes back a day or two later to apologize. He says he was drunk. He had drunk two vials of cold vodka while waiting for a mechanic to fix his car.
Italia sniffs at this privileged man who took advantage of her. There is nothing she can do. Her word against his. Just move on and forget it. But part of her is wondering if there is more to his interest than the quick gratification of lust.
He takes her again, this time though, it is clear that his passion is especially for her. It is something about her that turns him into a sexual beast, and not just the fact that she is a woman who cannot complain. It is interesting to note that when he returns and catches her carrying groceries home, she looks at him with some inquiry on her face, nothing more, no anger, no recriminations, no judgments. When he apologizes and says he was drunk, she swiftly picks up her groceries and turns away. She was looking for something deeper from him. She wants the reason that he raped her to be NOT that he was drunk but that he was so drawn to her that he couldn't help himself.
It is during the third scene a few days later that she accepts his passion for her and finds some of her own. And it is after this third scene as she serves him spaghetti that he realizes that he loves her. The moment comes when he reaches for the bottle of beer on the table at the same time she reaches to pour it for him. They accidentally tip the bottle over, spilling the beer onto the table and floor, and their hands meet. He holds her index finger in his hand for a moment, and it is at that moment that he knows he loves her. And she sees it in his eyes.
All of this is shown in flashback as Timoteo awaits the fate of his daughter who has suffered a massive head injury from a motorcycle accident and lies in a coma in his hospital. His meeting with Italia took place some fifteen years previously, or I should say it was a relatively brief but ultra passionate love affair that ended fifteen years in the past at the time his daughter, from the womb of his wife, Elsa (Claudia Gerini), was born. It was his passion for Italia that spilled over into Elsa that brought about the conception. Ironically--and this is part of the terrible tragedy of this story--Italia too becomes pregnant at nearly the same time. What Timoteo does not realize until it is too late is the depth of feeling that Italia comes to have for him. This is a love affair that, to quote the words of LA Times film critic Kevin Thomas, "makes most of today's screen romances seem undernourished by comparison."
Penelope Cruz's performance is nothing short of spectacular. I invite the reader to view the special feature on the DVD in which she discusses her character with Castellitto. Here we can see the incredible passion and attention to detail that Cruz brings to her performance, and also that of Castellitto, who is outstanding both as an actor and a director. Cruz, whose first language is Spanish, must become this noble wretch of a desperate woman who must speak Italian with a street accent and behave in way that belies her great beauty and the fine finish of her own character. It is a shame that most Americans only know Cruz from some television commercials and being Tom Cruise's ex. Penelope Cruz is without question--and she proves it in this deeply moving performance--to be one of the finest actresses working today.
A couple of other points. Elsa knows of course that her husband had fallen in love with someone else. She can sense it in the new passion he brings to making love to her. She can deduce it in his absences from her and from the change in his manner. But she never says a word. That is interesting. Perhaps she knows it will pass. And it does, but not before Timoteo performs a "marriage ceremony" at a hotel restaurant near the place of Italia's birth with Italia, and with the "reheated soup" and the wine and cheese as witnesses, and not before he fantasizes aloud with her of leaving his wife and newborn child and going to some far off place with her alone. Only tragedy, it would appear, prevents his leaving Elsa for the love of his life.
But time does heal this wound to their marriage, as Timoteo prays that time will heal his daughter. And the passion of yesteryear perhaps is the more glorious because, like a portrait, it does not age. And perhaps there is some solace in knowing that the love that one finds in a wife and a life's companion is different than that found in a fiery mania of long ago, but taken in total, no less deeply felt."