Dormant Beauty

(Bella addormentata)
(Italy, France, 2012, 115 mins, DCP)
Cast Isabelle Huppert, Toni Servillo, Alba Rohrwacher, Michele Riondino, Maya Sansa
PRODS Riccardo Tozzi, Giovanni Stabilini, Marco Chimenz
SCR Marco Bellocchio, Veronica Raimo, Stefano Rulli
CAM Daniele Cipri
ED Francesco Calvelli
MUS Carlo Crivelli
PROD CO Cattleya / Rai Cinema / Babe Films


Isabelle Huppert and Toni Servillo (Il Divo) are superb in Italian master Marco Bellocchio’s characteristically eloquent work, a caustic political critique and keenly observed social drama that centres on the hot-button issue of euthanasia. Based on the real-life political firestorm that engulfed Italy in 2009 when Beppe Englaro decided to take his long-comatose daughter Eluana off life support, Bellocchio’s film uses a loosely overlapping multi-thread structure to indelibly trace the hypocrisies and contradictions still rampant in today’s Italy.

Huppert shines in the role of a famous actress, an icy and staunch Catholic whose devotion to her own comatose daughter comes at the expense of family and employees. In another thread, Servillo delivers a profoundly human performance as an honest politician struggling with his conscience over his party’s decision to bring in a law expressly written to prevent Eluana’s assisted death.

Bellocchio makes no bones about where his allegiances lie. He delivers a supremely intelligent and powerful indictment of his country’s right-wing politics and the continued influence of the Catholic Church. "Marco Bellocchio reaffirms the dignity of life in another film of sparkling intelligence… [He turns] a real-life Italian national drama into engrossing narrative for sophisticated audiences."—Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

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