L'Attesa | Chicago Reader

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100 minutes · 2015

Drama
A woman whose brother has just died (Juliette Binoche) invites her son's girlfriend (Lou de Laâge) to stay at her sprawling Sicilian villa, and as mourners drift in and out, they await the son's arrival on Easter Sunday. The religious symbolism is overbearing, but first-time director Piero Messina keeps his simple story, loosely based on two plays by Luigi Pirandello, muted and equivocal. Messina has said he was inspired by the trauma of some friends who lost their son; for a day, no one spoke of the death, pretending instead that it never happened. The film captures the potency of such denial in long, lush shots of the two women, both French, as they drift further into isolation and grow increasingly terrified of their need for each other. The two women repeat the line "I'm waiting" so often that it seems like an incantation, as if the power of their longing might hasten the son's return. In Italian and French with subtitles.

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