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Breaking and Entering (2007)

Drama movie directed by Anthony Minghella

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Serendipity and the Resulting Emotional Changes

  • May 12, 2007
Anthony Minghella is an artist of distinction. His current successful role as writer and director of BREAKING AND ENTERING once again demonstrates how subtlety and economy can enhance the impact of a well-devised and well-paced strange story, leaving the viewer with a true sense of dramatic climax and awe. This is one of those under the radar films that is as fine as any before the public in the past year.

Will Francis (Jude Law) is a successful landscape architect who with his partner Sandy (Martin Freeman) has just begun a 'community restoration' project in the down and out King's Crossing area of London. Housed in an old building in that area from which the project will develop, they work with the finest of computers and business equipment - an easy target for locals to vandalize. Will lives with the Swedish American Liv (Robin Wright Penn) and her autistic young daughter Bea (Poppy Rogers) in a relationship that after 10 years has grown stale: the friction results in retreating into silence instead of communication. After two burglaries at the business occur, thefts that include Will's own laptop with all of his personal data, Will and Sandy begin nightly watches, hoping to catch the thieves. In this seedy area Will befriends an immigrant hooker Oana (a brilliant Vera Farmiga) while Sandy defends an accused cleaning girl immigrant Erika (Caroline Chikezie) until the two see two young boys breaking and entering on night. The lads are teenage Bosnian immigrants, good kids who are going with the flow of finding the means of survival in London. The boys, Miro (Rafi Gavron) and Zoran (Ed Westwick), escape the chase, though Will's pursuit results in his discovering Miro's home in the projects. Knowing that Miro's mother Amira (Juliette Binoche) takes in tailoring, Will drops off a jacket to be mended and is attracted to the beautiful unattached Amira with whom he gradually begins an affair.

Meanwhile Liv is in therapy with Rosemary (Juliet Stevenson) and attempts to include resistant Will in hopes of healing their domestic chaos. Their relationship is on the brink of dissolution, both adults are fatigued by the management of Bea, a situation which encourages Will to increase his participation in Bea's care, a decision which leads to an accident for Bea at Will's place of work. Eventually Miro and Zoran are captured by the police (Ray Winstone) and Amira is so devastated by the possible incarceration of her son that she takes measures with Will to secure herself. It is the manner in which the 'crime' by the boys triggers the breaking and entering of each of the lives, crippled by shells of defense, which serves as the sensitive resolution of the story.

The cast is perfection, providing plum roles for Law, Binoche, Penn, Farmiga, Winstone, Freeman and newcomer Gavron, each creating credible characters who though with less than pure lives completely drawn our empathy. Minghella's story is important and entertaining and the filming techniques are bold and innovative. Gabriel Yared provides yet another beautiful musical score and the added featurettes are informative - far better than the usual DVD fillers. A superb film, this. Grady Harp, May 07

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January 19, 2012
I just saw this on DVD today and am once again blown away by the talent of Juliet Binoche. There are few better.
More Breaking and Entering (2007) reviews
review by . January 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I had not heard of this film until recently and its surprising that I have not. I am a huge Juliette Binoche fan. I also really like Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn and director Anthony Minghella very much. This is a very overlooked film. Juliette Binoche deserved another academy award nomination for this performance. I have seen her in many films and she never gives a bad performance. Meryl Streep is hailed as one of the greatest actresses of our time and I do agree. But Juliette Binoche surpasses …
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Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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The atmospheric and erotically chargedBreaking and Enteringreunites director Anthony Minghella with Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley,Cold Mountain) and the haunting Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, for which she and Minghella won Academy Awards). Law fully invests himself as pre-occupied landscape architect Will Francis, who with his partner (Martin Freeman from the original British version ofThe Office), is heading a gentrification project in London's seedy, crime-plagued King's Cross neighborhood. At home, he and Liv (Robin Penn Wright), his morose Swedish-American girlfriend of 10 years, are increasingly estranged over the demands of his job and of caring for Liv's autistic daughter, a 13-year-old aspiring gymnast. Will, hiding his identity, begins an affair with Amira (Binoche), the mother of a youth who has twice ransacked Will's office. Amira is a Bosnian refugee with a fierce survival streak that is not above blackmail when she learns who Will is. This is Minghella's first original screenplay since his little-known romantic gemTruly Madly Deeply. The dialogue has Woody Allen pretensions: A cleaning woman who comes under suspicion for the break-ins invokes Kafka. A prostitute (Vera Farmiga giving the film's liveliest performance) has a philosophical bent. Will himself ham-handedly explains how he much prefers metaphors to straightforward communication (he'd love this film's title). An art-house film with an A-list cast and wrenching performances,Breaking and ...
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Director: Anthony Minghella
Screen Writer: Anthony Minghella
DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: Weinstein Company
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