Dormant Beauty
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Isabelle Huppert (AMOUR, THE PIANO TEACHER) and Toni Servillo (THE GREAT BEAUTY, GOMORRAH) star in Italian master Bellocchio's compelling ensemble drama in which characters in three interrelated storylines struggle with the moral impasses and compromises of modern life. The film's point of departure is a real-life right-to-euthanasia case that became a national controversy in 2008, culminating in a Parliamentary vote. Against this backdrop Bellocchio explores the differing values and outlook of young and old, reactionary and idealistic: that of a senator (Servillo) with a passionately… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's well acted and gorgeously and tenebrously shot."
‑ Keith Staskiewicz, Entertainment Weekly
"Unlike most movies that rely on TV-news reports to drive the story, Dormant Beauty is complex and humane, and never shrinks to mere spectacle."
‑ Mark Jenkins, NPR
""Dormant Beauty" is well-written, beautifully performed, and nicely made, if a good 15 minutes overlong. But we couldn't help but feel, given how controversial it proved in advance, that it should've been willing to go a little closer to the edge."
‑ Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist
"The result is one huge cinematic morass of gloom, largely unleavened by any redeeming humor -- however black -- or true empathy."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"Despite some moments of quirky brilliance and strong performances from Toni Servillo and Alba Rohrwacher, the heart of a TV melodrama beats beneath Dormant Beauty's pale arthouse skin"
‑ Lee Marshall, Screen International
"The film pits their honest passion against the stylized desperation of the actress' religious theater and the decadent hollowness of Berlusconi's political theater."
‑ Michael Sragow, Orange County Register
"Though the movie eschews facile sloganeering, few of its characters or narrative threads are able to develop beyond their function as metaphors."
‑ Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club
"Bellocchio may sometimes shut these characters in their rooms, but his view of them all is as open in mind and spirit as a film can be."
‑ Stuart Klawans, The Nation
"Like Bellocchio's draggy, overrated Vincere, this movie wants us to believe in its depth, while mostly just skimming the surface."
‑ Marshall Fine, Hollywood & Fine
"The film puts too many elements into play, which means it ends up darting hopelessly between a series of underdeveloped storylines."
‑ Jesse Cataldo, Slant Magazine
"If "Dormant Beauty" does not rank among Mr. Bellocchio's best movies, it nonetheless still occasionally shows him at his best."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"Swift and often compelling, it's also blessedly unbiased."
‑ Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"Despite the awkward narrative structure, the choppy film serves as a welcome showcase for ably understated performances from veteran Toni Servillo and rising talent Alba Rohrwacher, and a coolly burning Isabelle Huppert."
‑ Jared Eisenstat, Film Comment Magazine
"Dormant Beauty always comes back to the difficult decisions that family members have to make for each other, contrasted with the huffiness of outsiders who try to project their own beliefs onto someone else's business."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"Not an advocacy film in the conventional sense but one that deals with the ethical and spiritual paradoxes of Italy's version of the Terri Schiavo controversy. Brilliant filmmaking as always from Bellocchio."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
More reviews for Dormant Beauty on Rotten Tomatoes