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Set in the contrasting climates of a politically-charged Africa and the tranquil confines of an enchanting Roman villa, Besieged is a smoldering love story that bridges the gap between two very different worlds. Thandie Newton stars as the luminous Shandurai, a young African woman who has left her homeland, after having witnessed her husband's brutal abduction at the hands of an oppressive government. Disenchanted with her country, Shandurai surfaces in Rome at the home of an eccentric English musician, Mr. Kinsky (David Thewlis). Shandurai works as a maid for Mr. Kinsky in exchange for… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Bertolucci and co-writer Clare Peploe seem intent on deconstructing the story's interesting elements at every turn, substituting woolliness for clarity, atmospherics for real emotion and an often condescending, armchair-liberal naivete for real political"
‑ Derek Elley, Variety
"What an unexpected gift."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Made for Italian TV, this modestly scaled, intimate drama about the relationship between a British musician and his African housekeeper is well acted by Thandie Newton and David Thewlis."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Visually creative filmmaking."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"A thinking audience's romance."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"It's a film about the limits of art, about civilization at this moment of flux, and about a gentle connection between a man and a woman."
‑ , Time Out
"Given Bertolucci's impish leanings, the self-referential sequences may merely be gags. If so, they're among a half-dozen others that backfire."
‑ Daniel Mangin,
"Maddening on many fronts and strangely wordless, Bernardo Bertolucci's purported love story breaks no new ground."
‑ Sandra Contreras, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"One of the most accessible films to come from Bertolucci and shows the filmmakers deep understanding of his craft."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"An aesthetic treat for art film lovers. Everyone else should stay away."
‑ Susan Tavernetti, Palo Alto Weekly
"This is a deeply engrossing, often exquisite film by someone who knows visuals. It's sensory, sensual, handmade."
‑ Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle
"A film that combines a stunning sensuality with a rigorous economy."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Bertolucci conjures magic once again."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
"Despite a vividly expressive performance by Newton, the lack of urgency equates to a lack of intimacy."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"A film full of hope, full of heart and full of simple rewards for the audience lucky enough to find it."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
More reviews for Besieged on Rotten Tomatoes