Facing Windows 2.0 stars

Italian women's film, from Turkish-born filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek, filtered through the sensibility of a vaguely discontented wife, a drudging accountant in a Roman chicken factory and a moonlighting pastry chef too old (at thirty) to start anew as an apprentice baker, with a shiftless husband currently on the night shift, and an attractive bespectacled bachelor neighbor (looking a bit like a young Rosanno Brazzi, especially around the writhing mouth) whose comings and goings across the way are observed with casual voyeurism. The plot strand to do with a disoriented old man taken into their home as a transient (the late Massimo Girotti, a strapping athlete in his salad days), whose only form of identification is a concentration-camp number tattooed on his forearm, is at least as exasperating as it is intriguing. The woman herself, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, is very natural, harried, distracted, and, for all her undisguised eye appeal, unvain and unglamorous, something of an Italian Debra Winger. And there is a true climax, a decisive dramatic moment, when the heroine enters her neighbor's candle-riddled apartment with every intention of committing adultery and becomes instead a reverse voyeur on her own world from the neighbor's point of view. Raoul Bova, Filippo Nigro. 2003.

Duncan Shepherd

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