Watch Dormant Beauty
- 1 hr 55 min
Dormant Beauty is a powerful drama film from 2012 that follows the interconnected lives of four women as they struggle to make decisions regarding end-of-life care, euthanasia, and personal ethics. Isabelle Huppert portrays a mother, Maria, who is desperately trying to keep her daughter, Eluana, alive in a persistent vegetative state. Toni Servillo plays a high-ranking government official, Uliano Beffardi, who is tasked with making a decision on whether to allow Eluana's feeding tube to be removed after eleven years. Beffardi's job puts him in direct opposition to Maria and her beliefs, and he struggles with his conscience as he grapples with what he believes is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, Alba Rohrwacher plays Rossa, an activist who is leading a protest against the government's decision to end Eluana's life. Rossa's personal story is intertwined with that of Betta, an actress who is preparing to perform a monologue about a woman facing a similar decision.
As the film progresses, each of these characters is forced to confront their beliefs about life, death, and what it means to truly act with compassion. Maria, clinging to the hope that her daughter may someday wake up, struggles with the idea of ending her life. Beffardi, despite his duty to uphold the law, is wracked with guilt over his decision. Rossa's passion for her cause borders on fanaticism, while Betta's performance forces her to confront her own fears and doubts.
What makes Dormant Beauty so impactful is not just the story it tells but the way it tells it. Director Marco Bellocchio masterfully weaves together these disparate threads, presenting multiple perspectives on a complex issue and refusing to provide easy answers. This is not a film that seeks to lecture or preach, but rather one that invites contemplation and discussion.
The performances in Dormant Beauty are nothing short of remarkable. Huppert, Servillo, Rohrwacher, and particularly the understated Isabelle De Hertogh as Eluana, all deliver nuanced and nuanced performances that elevate the film beyond melodrama.
Visually, the film is equally stunning. From sweeping shots of the Italian countryside to intimate close-ups of characters' faces, the camera work is at once restrained and evocative. The score, by Riccardo Giagni, is understated but effective, subtly underscoring the film's emotional beats.
Dormant Beauty is not an easy film to watch. It grapples with weighty issues and refuses to offer easy answers, instead inviting the viewer to engage with the nuanced, messy reality of end-of-life care. But it is also a vital, thought-provoking work that deserves to be seen and discussed. In a world increasingly defined by polarization and heated rhetoric, Dormant Beauty is a reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and dialogue.
Dormant Beauty is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 72.