"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Besieged

06 Apr 2002

The last Bertolucci film I saw was "The Sheltering Sky" which I wasn't that keen on, even though Vittorio Storaro's cinematography make it look great. Before that was "The Last Emperor" with Storaro again -- a visual delight.

I saw Besieged after a string of very average Hollywood films, and was immediately reminded what an art film is all about. This film tells more about the two characters played by David Thewlis and Thandie Newton than two of any other mainstream film. Thewlis is a classical pianist living in Italy; Newton plays his cleaning woman. She has fled from her home in Africa where her husband has been arbitrarily arrested by the local regime. The film is all about the relationship between Thewlis' and Newton's characters, and the real joy about the movie is that it tells the story by showing you how the characters interact, rather than by spoon-feeding you everything the way you usually get in a Hollywood film. The film is carefully paced, and gives you time to think about the difficult decisions these characters have to make. It's a movie for grownups.

Related Sites

Beseiged official web site (in French)
Beseiged on the IMDB