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Thirteen-year-old Pasquale is the head of a small band of children who hunt birds in their spare time, and defend "their" territory from rival gangs. Like most of his fellow Lampedusans, Pasquale spends his evenings on Via Roma, the main street that he and his mates use as a racetrack for performing acrobatic stunts with their Vespas. Pasquale's one acknowledged boss is his father, Pietro, a generous but violent man who is both loved and feared. His mother, Grazia, is considered to be extravagant by the rest of her family. She refuses to be dominated, however that is not an… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A sad, slight film but with a sweet, smooth finish that makes you feel richer for having watched and absorbed and felt."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"A quietly disarming drama by Emanuele Crialese that tugs at family ties and calls into question the conventional definition of 'normal.'"
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Crialese's stated purpose is to create a sense of magical realism, and even as he draws on an actual fable to do so, there's an incomplete feeling to the production."
‑ Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas CityLife
"Though the story is warmly humanistic it is too paper thin to mean much."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"An inviting performance by Golino and some outstanding underwater photography enliven director/writer Emanuele Crialese's adaptation of an Italian legend."
‑ Steve Schneider, Orlando Weekly
"A small, sensual and unforgettable Italian drama that transports us to a place wonderfully exotic yet strangely familiar."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Valeria Golino proves she can act as good as she looks."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"It is sort of the opposite of 'Northern Exposure' where everyone is quirky, and loving it. Here, quirkiness is opposed strongly."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"We're slouched back with our heads resting on the tops of the seats, relaxing and letting our minds leap out of our heads to spend 95 minutes at play in Lampedusa."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"Whatever its shortcomings, Respiro provides [Valeria Golino] with a juicy leading role, and she takes full advantage of the opportunity."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"A beautifully scenic but languid character study that could use a shot of adrenalin and a more straightforward story line."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"Somewhere along the way, Respiro just seems to run out of breath."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Respiro begins as a portrait of a woman who refuses to abide by the conventions of the comunity and ends with a bit of inspired magical realism."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A mixture of great Italian cinema and fluffy silliness."
‑ Oz,
"Golino's performance is effortlessly haunting; it's a shame she doesn't have more of a movie to hang it on."
‑ Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly
More reviews for Respiro on Rotten Tomatoes