1 April 2006 | ruby_fff
Sometimes it takes a total stranger to prompt us to step back and rethink who we are, what we really want in life
"Facing Windows" 2003 is a very thoughtful, gentle Italian film telling us how frustrating human conditions of the heart can be transformed by one another.
Giovanna Mezzogiorno (also in "Don't Tell" aka Beast of the Heart) plays Giovanna the central 'heroine' - a young woman with plenty of mixed emotions, who is discontented with her (chicken factory accountant) job, mother to two children, wife to a husband who's night shift job schedule frustrates her, and most of time she shouts at him and wouldn't want to listen - yes, she's quite bitchy about herself, though finds brief solace when doing bit of occasional baking. Through the course of meeting the unexpected stranger that Massimo Girotti portrayed - Simone/Davide the old man at a lost, who seems to have amnesiac problem and was temporarily taken in by Giovanna's husband into their home against her wishes, yet her whole world starts to change. Writer-director Ferzan Ozpetek has a way of telling his stories, always full of humanity, foibles and virtues mixed together, turning out a thoughtful film never short of gentleness and the sharing of human kindness.
There are side events, of course: the young man whom she now and then noticed across her kitchen window in the next building, the flashbacks and 'Déjà Vu' storyline that the old man Simone experiences, the delightful turn of events - those attractive delicious-looking display of cakes and cakes - what a baker's dream!
Filmmaker Ozpetek, who was born in Turkey and lived in Italy, includes poetry in his films: he introduced Turkish poet Nâz1m Hikmet through his characters in "His Secret Life." Here, we get to hear Giovanna thinking aloud, talking to Davide: " I feel your gestures in mine, and I recognize you when you speak. Does everyone who leaves you - always leave part of themselves with you? Is this the secret of having memories?"
The cast is just wonderful, of course, Mezzogiorno and Girotti were fascinating to watch. The music by Andrea Guerra complemented the cinematography by Gianfilippo Corticelli. If you'd like more of Ozpetek's work, try "Hamam: A Turkish Bath" 1998 (my first IMDb review posted on 10 January 1999) and "His Secret Life" aka The Ignorant Fairies, 2001.