Dormant Beauty

Dormant Beauty Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life converge during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 3, 2014
    Subtle emotional intelligence has always distinguished Bellocchio's filmmaking, and Dormant Beauty is constructed from fine-grained layers of it, the filmmaker's equivalent of a master cabinetmaker's craft.
  2. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Jun 5, 2014
    Refusing to offer easy answers or perspectives, Dormant Beauty is directed in such a way it doesn’t need to take a clear-cut position on the question, because like all the director’s work it has no concern with convincing people of anything, but a great deal of interest in illuminating contemporary Italian society.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jun 12, 2014
    The proportions of the narrative strands sometimes feel off, but the movie pulses with the unpredictability of full-blooded characters.
  4. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 5, 2014
    If Dormant Beauty does not rank among Mr. Bellocchio’s best movies, it nonetheless still occasionally shows him at his best. His eye for the latent beauty and evident absurdity of Italian life remains acute, as does his appreciation for vivid performance.
  5. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jun 5, 2014
    Though the movie eschews facile sloganeering, few of its characters or narrative threads are able to develop beyond their function as metaphors.
  6. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Jun 3, 2014
    The film’s well-written, beautifully performed (not least from Huppert, who’s typically stunning as her icy, grief-stricken matriarch, and the moving Servillo, of “Il Divo” and “Gomorrah” fame), and nicely made, if a good 15 minutes overlong.
  7. Reviewed by: Jo-Ann Titmarsh
    Jun 12, 2014
    Bearing in mind the dramatic nature of the real life-and-death story at Dormant Beauty's core, this is an unacceptable and irresponsible piece of filmmaking for all of its good intentions.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 24, 2014
    This was a very intense movie - a lot more serious than a lot of films coming out of Hollywood in the last couple of years. It seriouslyThis was a very intense movie - a lot more serious than a lot of films coming out of Hollywood in the last couple of years. It seriously addressed the issue of life support. How much is needed and how is the decision made? It explores this from the viewpoint of several unrelated individuals - and a politician who must make a decision based on his political support, position, and future. Expand