His Secret Life (2001) Poster

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9/10
Unconventional
stefano148816 March 2002
Here is a film that is both unconventional and deeply touching.

The best thing about this film is the absence in it of any clichés. This holds, first of all, for the main gay character, Michele. In Italian films gay characters tend to be described in extremely stereotyped ways; in other films, such as "Philadelphia", there are gay characters that tend to be described as if they were sort of saints. In this case, instead, the main gay character is a complex man, with contrasting aspects; the tension between his love for someone he will never be able to fully share his love with and his inability to requite the affection of those who could; the tension between his attraction for the widow of his late lover, in whom he finds an echo of aspects he loved in him, and the hatred he feels for his rival; the bitterness for the love lost and the willingness to engage in fast sex; all makes this character a fascinating one.

Even more so for the main female character. For once Margherita Buy plays a different character from the neurotic, insecure women she has often played in the past, and is given a wonderful opportunity to show her dramatic skills. She's hurt and yet not bitter, she's open-minded and yet has a morality of her own, she's curious and yet not intrusive; she plays a thoughtful, sensitive, tender and deeply human character, for whom one can feel nothing but sympathy.

Many foreigners seem to especially like films which depict Italy and Italians in strongly conventional ways, such as "Mediterraneo", "Life is Beautiful" or "Cinema Paradiso": a rural country, populated by childish, superficial and sentimental people surrounded by beautiful landscapes, preferably in Tuscany, and artistic beauties. This film, set in a dilapidated district of Rome, will probably make them understand that Italy is a country quite different, in many ways, from the one they like to see represented in some Italian films.
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8/10
The Turkish Director And His Italian Fairies
uhmartinez-phd17 November 2007
"His Secret Life" is the unimaginative American title. The Fairies in the original title is referred to a painting, what else? Margherita Buy, the central character in this surprising modern melodrama is a revelation, at least for me. She doesn't look like anybody else and at the same time she reminded me of several women I know. So middle class. Elegant without meaning too. Very difficult to sort out, describe or shake up. She takes the revelation of her husband's past as a British woman would, with a remarkable stiff upper lip. I mean, she is shocked, hurt, disturbed but she carries of all that in her eyes. She doesn't collapse with hysterics. The weakest link in this almost perfect fairy tale is the leading man Stefano Accorsi - Apparently a big star in Italy but I thought he was difficult to warm up to. There is a petulance there that I couldn't quite overcome so, as a consequence, I didn't care about him. I cared about Serra Yelmaz , a wonderful and truly original character. I also cared about Erica Blanc as the ultra sophisticated, lonely and wise mother of Marherita Buy's character. I also cared about Gabriel Garko because I think, he is the character, Ferzan Ozpetek, the director, cared about the most. At least Garko has the best, the most beautiful loving close ups of the entire film. Recommended
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9/10
Not your usual kinda gay
cchie16 February 2004
If film is about the message it wants to convey to its audience, this film has definitely achieved it. The subtle depiction of the gay community is so much different from the usual Hollywood stereotype gay men - your Queer as Folk kinda guy. While the soapy detail of Queer as Folk casts the image of the gay community as something really really different from the straight community hence giving it some sort of exclusivity (despised by many of the so called straight righteous community), Le Fate Ignoranti portrays the gay community as just 'the other human being.' Different maybe, but it doesnt emphasize the difference to the level that no straight mortal will be able to immerse let alone understand it. Le Fate Ignoranti portrays the gay community as just another 'group' in our society, facing the same humane problems - that gay men are nothing but another human beings deserve the same humane treatment and respect.

Michele is so differently refreshing from his Hollywood counterparts, full of dignity and no cynicism towards the world that you usually find in those so called gay Hollywood films. While Hollywood gay men show only insecurity with their identity, Michele is oozing with confidence and is perfectly comfortable with his sexuality.

This film and director Ferzan Ozpetek has definity done great job in the effort of establishing more insight into a 'more real' depiction of gay community.
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8/10
Life after a death of a loved one would not be same, then there is this 'life'....
wonderfulfable23 July 2003
Antonia was living the life of most women would dream of. A good medical career, a loving husband, and a wonderful marriage. All that came to a crumble one day when he died in an accident leaving Antonia is grief and mourning.

But an accidental discovery of a painting hinted that Antonia's husband Massimo has another lover. Burning with anger, Antonia sought to find out more about this lover. But there is a catch; Massimo's lover is a man, Michele. Which shocked Antonia more to realising that her husband had lead a double life; one a straight married man, the other a gay lover.

Through Michele, she learnt more of her husbands secrets. A circle of friends Massimo has known through Michele, drag queens, immigrants, gay men, quirky apartment neighbours, and also AIDS patients. This circle of friends shared a warmness that all frienships has. Her open minded curiosity led her to befriend Massimo's circle of friends. Indirectly, she has replaced the vaccuum left by Massimo's death. At the same time, there is a growing attraction between her and Michele, as both are brought closer together. She then contrasts her life with Massimo and then with this 'new life' she has found after his death. Furthermore, she has to address her growing affections for her departed husbands lover.

Turkish director Ozpetek captures the warm bindings of this motley group of friends and in realistic detail in the confines of Michele's flat which serves as the groups meeting point for dinners and chats. The audience can feel the warmth emmitted from the togetherness of these people. A beautiful scene is where we see the dance party which is played to the tune of a slow song number overshadowing the dance beat in the background. We see all the circle of friends, Antonia and Michele included having a good time, bonding (yes even literal bonding!). Longing glances were exchanged between Antonia and Michele. This serves as a powerful scene and many assumptions or predictions can be made from this tease.

There are many side stories to Antonia and Michele's friendship as well such as dealing with rejection, pain suffered by an AIDS patient. Some of these issues are delicately dealt and while some humorous. There is plenty of humour in this film. Never has it made me laugh out loud. We see quirky characters like Louiselle the quirky supermarket cashier, Serra the 'apartment secretary', Mara the drag queen turned transvetite, Ricky, Sandora and Emir, all of them add together the humouros elements and warmth. A special mention would be Antonia's mother whose opened and profound views on life and adultery really had my sides splitting. The main leads by Margherita Buy and Stefano Accorsi depicts two people coming in terms of both of their loved one's death are very well potrayed. The emotion and the passion is felt from these two actor's performances.

Cheers to Ozpetek for creating such a warm and sentimental film! Almost made me shed tears when the ending loomed.
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7/10
Modest and sensitive drama.
libertyvalance16 November 2002
This is my first encounter with a film by Ferzan Ozpetek and a more than satisfying one. This modest drama about a woman's growing understanding of the often hazardous and confusing life the homosexual friends of her dead husband lead is extremely convincing.

Almodóvar came to mind when seeing the commune of transsexuals and gay characters so lovingly and believably portrayed. Without the hysterics of the Spanish master Ozpetek manages to show the witty bitchiness, the hurt of and compassion for the Aids victims.

Mature is the word that springs to mind when the story unfolds and its old fashioned but unforced warmth pervades you. Without winning prizes for originality this film shows that, when made with heart, involvement and wit, one can tell an old tale over and over again.

It's also nice to find exploitation veteran Erica Blanc in a quirky but well perceived bit part.
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The strange interplay between sexual desire and affection (and many other stories)
Paolo R.18 April 2001
Film making is not about bringing together photography and theater, but painting and music. So said Robert Bresson, and Turkish director (but living and working in Italy) Ferzan Ozpetek shows how this is possible. Anna (a young and rich widow living a sheltered life, admirably played by Margherita Bui) discovers her deceased husband (with whom she was truly in love) had a gay lover. She traces this man, and discovers a whole world she had not dreamed of - just a few kilometers from home. She mourns her marriage for the second time, and is both repulsed and attracted by the former lover and his friends (living in a semi-incredible commune which FerzanOzpetek creates and describes in flourishing details). In the end she accepts this separate reality, discovering it inside herself as well as outside.

At the beginning I was fascinated by the technical talents of Ferzan Ozpetek, and how he interprets other directors without actually copying them: the general atmosphere of the gay commune reminds me of Pedro Almodovar (the costumes, for example, and the terrace in Rome like the one in Madrid in Women on the verge of nervous breakdown). The way of picturing the streets of this old, lower-class area of Rome reminded me of Mario Martone and his film L'amore Molesto. By the time I realized the biggest debt is to Julian Shnabel's Before Night Falls I was so much into the film that I did not care any more, and simply let myself being carried away by the magic of emotions. At the end I left the cinema totally dazzled. (There is a brief scene when Antonio is looking for condoms and unexpectedly finds a poetry book which for me is worth many a therapy sessions discussing sex and affection).

I cannot guarantee that this will happen to you as well, but you are certain to see a film full of art, by that rare director who established himself (Turkish Bath was his first film) not by marketing savvy but by word-of-mouth from casual viewers becoming enthusiastic supporters.

By the way: the connection with Before Night Falls is clear in two points. Both films surprise viewers with emotional documentary footage when the ending titles are showing. Here it is about the year 2000 Gay Pride march in Rome (a national confrontation after the Vatican and the left-wing prime minister tried to have it banned or moved somewhere else).

The second point is even more clear: in both films there is a scene (and a very moving one) where soft, melancholic music is used (apparently out of context) under footage of a loud and roaring party. In Le Fate Ignoranti the two main characters look at each other with romantic longing - while both are engaged (actively or passively) in overtly sexual courting with other partners. Loneliness hidden in apparent merriment is exactly what Shnabel wanted to show, as well.
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9/10
A redefinition of family
wisewebwoman4 March 2007
This was a chance rental, recommended by the owner of my local rental shop and it was a wonderful surprise. We are introduced to the perfect marriage at the outset, Antonia, the wife (played winningly by Margherita Buy) and Massimo, the husband ( played by Andrea Renzi) It is fifteen years along into the marriage straight out of high school and it is sexy and fulfilling, with a wonderful house on a lake, a full time maid and no children by choice.

And just like that, Massimo is killed in a traffic accident and thus begins the story of the unfolding of the secret that he withheld from Antonia for seven years.

In her detective work, Antonia, an AIDS doctor, uncovers another life that Massimo has lived.

Enter handsome Michele ( played by Stefano Accorci), who lives an openly gay life, filled with friends, some straight, some gay, some transgendered. Michele is real, flaws and all and conveys the promiscuous life of a lusty gay male.

Antonia and Michele fight a burgeoning attraction for each other with Antonia repulsed at times by his sexuality with other men. She also becomes bonded with his friends (she has made Massimo her raison d'etre and abandoned other friends for him) and slowly begins to understand his grief process.

Nothing is drawn in black and white here. One senses that Antonia and Michele are right for each other. Massimo was never an intellectual whereas Michele and Antonia are. There are many layers to the story and some wonderful characterizations. The part of Antonia's mother is a particular delight as is the part of Serra, they both have their secrets too.

I gave it a 9 out of 10 for the Italy that it shows, a colourful, complex Italy and the characters that clamp around the heartstrings and don't release for a long time afterwards. The only flaw was in the measly subtitles but at times my Italian was good enough to pick up the nuances and the unsubtitled dialogue and background.

Bravo and Brava to all.
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Beautiful, stylish and full of humanity
jrayner615 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
If you're gay and want to enjoy a classy Italian film full of warmth and humanity then this one is for you. If you are straight and not homophobic and want to enjoy a classy Italian film full of warmth and humanity, then this movie is also for you. Whichever way you swing you're in for a treat. Great soundtrack too.

And for those, like me, who yearn for an upbeat and satisfying ending? Well, I'll just say that the final scenes and the bouncing glass tumbler deliver. To understand this you'll need to have been paying attention earlier when a dropped tumbler breaks. Subtle and stylish, just like the rest of this terrific film.

WARNING: if you don't speak Italian and need to download English subtitles beware there are two versions: one is excellent (first line is translated as "May l have the honor of being your guide?") and one is rubbish (first line is translated as "Can I be your guide?")
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A real masterpiece.
jmart1554815 December 2004
'La fate ignoranti' is one of the smartest movies in years. Few films have so delicately shown and explained feelings of love, betrayal, deceit, and infatuation.

The key theme (which, oddly enough, a lot of people seem to miss) is : what to do when the love of your life dies... and turns out to be a completely different person than you thought he was.

Most viewers stop at the slightly lewd, sensationalist premise of "my (dead) husband had a boyfriend." In reality the poignant film is about two descent, lovely, and flawed persons bounding in the face of loss and mourning.

The wife and gay lover, apparent enemies, not only share the same (competitive) grief and sadness, but quickly discover how they need each others and are very much alike.

One amazing scene deftly shows how one thing that both rivals liked about the dead husband might in fact be the influence of that other lover! Both the wife and boyfriend are crazy about the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, and were convinced the husband was too, until they discover he was merely influenced by their own personal interests.

Named 'Family portrait' in France, the film has a large gallery of warm, funny, struggling characters (including the wife's hilarious mom). Its wide spectrum of in-depth, low-key emotions and statements is a pleasure to watch. It's also a delight to piece back together, after the viewing , with some perceptive friends, since the film-maker brilliantly filled the movie with so many funny, vivid, logical details and ideas.
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9/10
Perfect drug
Kursad29 September 2001
Another beautiful movie by Ferzan Ozpetek. Similar to HAMAM, you leave the theater with feelings of purity, warmth and love. The story is quite unique and all of the characters give you positive energy all movie long. A must see for people who want to appreciate friendship, love in all forms and life in general. Specially in our times where evil is in the air, it's a perfect drug...
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8/10
The Ignorant Fairies
lasttimeisaw20 June 2011
It is such a delight to watch a gay-themed film which is not over-indulged in melodramatic sentiment and what's more precious is that it innovates an authentic and positive gay community within to encourage more people to look on the brighter side of the world.

Ozpetek's self-imposed gay identity opens a gate for us to see more scrupulously into contemporary gay communities, without the thwart of the religion, the social prejudice, the indoctrinated moral standards from family and friends. It manifests that sexual orientation is much of a choice rather than any mammoth title being forcefully added upon this minority group.

The film is epidemic to all kinds of demographic classes, gay/straight/bi-sexual, man/woman/transsexual, everyone could dip into it and acquire different nutrition which he/she needs.

The acting is generally agreeable, Margherita Buy as the female protagonist, manages an amiable appearance to elevate the inner intricate complexion of her character. Stefano Accorsi, on the other hand, is more an unsubdued opposed image to underline the other facade of Margherita's role, a quirky chemistry could emerge between this two friend and foe (demonstrated by an explicit kiss scene where both try to find the scent of her husband/his lover), as a matter of fact, it is individual nuance matters here, anything else could not be exerted as a criterion anymore.

The Turkey-born director Ferzan Ozpetek's skill hones to a new state after his debut STEAM: THE Turkish BATH (1997) and LAST HAREM (1999), the milieu and the myriad of different characters develop an affluent emotional touch eventually (although most of them are underwritten as a sacrifice of the main storyline).

Anyhow, Ozpetek has established his fame and poise as the most promising contemporary Italian directors, his latest work LOOSE CANNONS (2010) will be my next object.
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8/10
Ignorance might be bliss
jotix10030 October 2002
I greatly admired "Steam" by director Ferzan Ozpetek. He has an eye for detail with interesting stories to tell, as it's the case with this one.

The story presented here is credible. It is what happens after a loved one has met a horrible death, as it is in the case of Antonia's husband. Obviously, what appeared to be a happy marriage on the surface was a bit more complicated than we are let to believe at the beginning of the movie.

Don't ever fool around with a woman's curiosity! Antonia can't rest until she delves deep into the clues left behind a painting. She embarks into a journey of discovery that will ultimately lead her to learn a horrible truth.

Antonia meets Michele who, obviously, is someone who turns out to be a mirrored image of her. That's why is so easy to comprehend the situation. She gets our sympathy because instead of fleeing in horror, she wants to know more to get it clearly in her mind.

Margherita Buy is very effective as Antonia and Stefano Accorsi's Michele is one of the best roles he has played in a while.

Credit has to be given to director Ozpetek by keeping things in rein without making the story into a soap opera.
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10/10
Beautiful, Intense and Captivating
nurse_sarah28 August 2005
I found Le Fate Ignoranti to be superbly fascinating. It is a bittersweet tale of love, betrayal and friendship.

Antonia is a doctor,specializing in HIV and Aids. She loses her husband, Massimo, in a tragic accident. A chance discovery of a love note from her husband's gay lover leads her on an emotional journey of realization and intrigue.

Michele is the lover Massimo hid for seven years; he is equally devastated by Massimo's death. Michele lives in an exhilarating homosexual world among a group of misfits, including a transvestite, a man ill with HIV and a Turkish immigrant with a terrible secret.

Together Antonia and Michele explore the ups and downs their newfound friendship, and eventually realize that they have more in common than just shared lover.

I could not find one single fault with this film.Ordinarily I tend to avoid foreign films, as the message is usually lost in translation. However the true meaning of Le Fate Ignoranti is loud and clear, no matter what language you speak. The outstanding acting, flawless cinematography and charming setting make for magnificent cinematic experience. Above all the true beauty of this film lies in the way; it manages to capture its audience. It allows us to interpret the meaning to fit ourselves personally and to take something special away with us each and every time.
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8/10
Sweet movie
roedyg14 April 2012
This is a movie about people who are unusually kind to each other. I have not seen this side of gay life properly depicted before in movies. Back in the 70s, bands of gays and other sexual outliers would band together. The idea was very much one for all and all for one. The exclusion from general society and family made the bonds all the stronger.

The movie also shows a very motley crew totally enjoying each other's company. You see them from all sides, not just high camp, but serious, happy, angry, in despair ... as well. It made me feel sorry for straight people living alone in their decorator mansions.

The movie is subtle. It avoids Hollywood moments, while still taking you into unexpected places. It behaves with the tentativeness of real life rather than the decisiveness of a typical movie.

It is a seductive movie, starting by showing each character in their worse light. Gradually you come to love them and care about them and to forgive their faults.
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10/10
A beautiful movie
tlc_inkwell26 August 2006
My first introduction to Ferzan Ozpetek, and a wonderful way to enter his world. The story unfolds as if it is rolling out before the viewer, and we learn about her husband's secret life just as Antonia does. What we find is lovely, and takes us and Antonia into a world full of despair and joy, fear and passion... and ultimately, love. These people at first glance might look like outcasts who have banded together for lack of a better place, but we soon realize that they are exactly where they want to be... and it is a wonderful life.

Something worth mentioning -- without dwelling or preaching, Ozpetek shows us the tragedy of AIDS and shows us too that it is not without hope.

Similar movies with the same feel include "KM 0" and "Second Skin" (both from Spain).

Highly recommend.

tlc
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10/10
A good movie and a great cast!
eVissa30 March 2004
I didn't know what to expect about this movie but it made for a very enjoyable evening. A lovely story, wonderful characters and superb acting. Forget all that cliche'd Will and Grace stuff, or Queer as Folk... these guys seemed like real human beings, 3-dimensional with feelings and humanity.

I hadn't seen any of the actors before which also made it seem very real somehow, and some of the scenes were so tender that my eyes filled with tears. The people seemed to really care for each other, they felt able to show their feelings. No violence, no explicit sex - just guys being affectionate to each other. A really lovely movie!
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9/10
When in Rome.........
B2430 July 2004
I have to give this one a ten out of ten. I liked it so well I am watching it for the third time to see what little bit of inspired text I may have missed in the subtitles the first or second time.

Some viewers may object to the "feel good" conclusion of the film. Without giving anything away, I must remind such viewers that there is more than one meaning to that conclusion. There is a bittersweet touch in the director's visual manipulation of these last moments, suggesting that life is never as simple as any one concluding statement or action might imply. But the two principal characters as well as their friends have been changed forever by uncovering secrets one by one, starting with the rather unexpected event that opens the story.

Superb acting, beautiful set pieces, innovative use of music, and sudden reversals of personality are the hallmark here. I find nothing out of place, even after seeing it again and again.
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7/10
Life goes weirdly on
silviopellerani17 May 2001
It is the 3rd film from Ferzan Ozpetek that I have seen and I must say that this looks like the most mature one and welcomes him to the narrow belt of Italian (even if he is half Turkish) "good directors".

The pain of a mourning almost completely reseted by the doubt of the presence of a husband's lover. The drama of discovering that his husband, Massimo, was a gay and had a man lover. Then starts to grow all the questions and insecurities into Antonia's mind, great and marvellously acted by Marherita Buy. Then she tries to discover his "real" past and second life getting in touch with a new cosmos of people: trans, gays, aids ill persons, that used to know very well his husband. His "second life" is well and intelligently represented in an apartment where all this people used to meet. This life, that initially Antonia rejects, because she is completely opposite minded, starts to interest her more and more up to become also part of her life. At last Antonia is told to be pregnant and decides not to say anything and to take finally a reflexion pause in her life.

The excellent dancing scene in the outdoor party accompanied by slow music which helps to screen all the characters and to see how far away they are from the life she has used to have is unforgettable.

Excellent example of very good Italian film which is really missed nowadays.

Rating: 7/10
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7/10
When the World of a Woman Ruins Twice
claudio_carvalho18 April 2004
Antonia (Margherita Buy) and Massimo (Andrea Renzi) have a perfect petit bourgeois life : fifteen years of marriage, living in a wonderful house by the lake, having no children by option, their lives looks like a fairy tale. One day, while crossing the street , Massimo is killed by a car. Antonia accidentally finds a picture called `Le Fate Ignoranti' with a dedication from a lover in its back. Antonia begins to investigate and finds that the lover is indeed a gay, Michele (Stefano Accorci), living in a gay community. Her husband had had a double life along the last seven years of his life. Antonia feels a kind of attraction for those persons, specially by Michele, maybe trying to understand her husband feelings, and in the end, becomes a new woman, like phoenix. Although being a gay movie, with a gay director and environment, this story is very sensitive and unusual. There is no cliches, it is not corny and the cast is sharp. I liked very much, but I also recognized that it is indicated for a very specific audience. The beautiful Margherita Buy has a magnificent performance, as a woman who sees her perfect world ruining twice after the death of her husband. My vote is seven, but maybe this film deserved a better rating. I did not expect such a different story.

Title (Brazil): `Um Amor Quase Perfeito' (`A Love Almost Perfect')
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10/10
Beautiful movie...
rrothschild12 September 2006
This movie brought joy to my evening when I took a chance on it alone one Friday Night. The characters are an endearing group who grow on you... they all become more beautiful as time passes, & I was actually sorry to see the movie end. To me, it was not only a very interesting -& believable - story, it also brought me laughter & even tears at one point... This was a collective of individuals who supported & were supported by each other as they lived their lives in a spirit of creativity, sharing, caring & celebrating life which made me wish I too was a nearby neighbor...I really loved the way the main characters & their relationship developed...Lastly, a review would be incomplete without mention of the richly delicious soundtrack... which I am having difficulties locating... This movie is one I will see again, which I rarely do.
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Seemed off to a rough start, but hung on and loved it!
Keyne26 July 2004
At first, I figured I'd hang in just because I enjoy watching different cultures on film. It had a mood blasted on the screen; gloomy, depressed, all the right moods for which I was in at the moment. (Need I say it was 3:00 in the morning, couldn't sleep, and there it was, playing on Sundance)...The movie did have enough of a mystique to keep my interest at hand. I believe the husbands' love and even his interest of not losing her, for fear he was (perhaps)intellectually below her,( remember the conversation between his lover and her, how the husband and he met)may have felt she could've done better, or would be falling out of love with him. As you remember, the scenes before his death were pretty non-talkative, just 2x2-his and hers. I believe, therefore, just maybe this may have been a love-conscious effort to be nearer to her, then, as time wore on (7 years, mind you) he fell in love with the guy, who wouldn't? Personalities are personalities, man or woman!
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A BRILLIANT MASTERPIECE
videolionvideo10 December 2001
There is not much I can add to the excellent comments of the previous user except that I as well was moved beyond belief by the raw emotions and incredible restraint exhibited by the director.What could have easily become a weepy tearjerker,instead is a transcendent,humanist story of two souls that share a common bond.The husband.This leads to some bitter confrontations with each moment a layer being removed so that the characters can grieve together.The character of the mother was FABULOUS....the character of Ernesto was not only HANDSOME!but fully realized.This film touched me on so many levels that I am at a loss for words...I hope that this film finds a major distribution company that can place it in many cinemas(The directors previous film Haman-The turkish bath was horribly exploited by Strand Releasing,They renamed it Steam and tried to market the sexual aspects of the film)....I feel EVERYONE should make an effort to see this movie.Like the previous user it left me dazzled.
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9/10
Excellent Alternative Life
paq552817 July 2014
It cannot be a spoiler to say that the movie is about a man who led 2 lives discovered by one of them after his death. That is, in essence, the plot entirely.

But this movie becomes so much more than a search for truth. It tears at your heartstrings for the knowledge of life's imperfections, as demonstrated not only by the main plot, but also by her mother's subplot, i.e. her 9-year affair with "the general". This serves to emphasize the strength of human nature over cultural morals. No we shouldn't lie, cheat, steal, murder, etc. and yet it happens even in the most devout communities.

Speaking of communities, there are 2 advanced here. One, a staid, educated lifestyle, where everything is monitored (curfew!) and precise, and the other a vibrant, colorful yet exasperating community, full of caring, sharing, honesty, verbal barbs, and true compassion.

So why couldn't Massimo marry the 2 worlds? Are they contradictory? Is there no place for overlap? Could he not introduce one to the other? The answer is simply...No. Honesty kills as easily as a bullet. It kills friendships, lovers, whole families. I think Massimo was in love with 2 worlds and for different reasons, but that doesn't make him an honorable man. In fact I'd argue he was a bit of a coward. But how much are both worlds enriched by the presence of the other?! An accepting, straight, sensible woman enters the compassionate, energetic, hormonal, nearly-hidden world of Michele and friends and finds it vibrant and slightly alien. The allure is unrelenting as she returns again and again for larger doses. Does anyone think that her child will not become a player in this mural of excitement and lifestyle? Have the patience to watch the movie with an open mind. It touches on many social issues, it touches on gay and straight issues, but mostly, it touches the heart with strong acting and plot. Highly recommended!
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Interesting, but unsatisfying
Imnozy28 October 2003
There were many parts of this movie that I found moving, but, particularly towards the end it came across more like a daytime soap than a serious movie.

The premise is that a woman who has been desperately hurt by finding out that her husband was bi-sexual can be won over easily to understanding of first his lover and also his friends and other life. That in itself is a bit hard to believe, but suspending disbelief, this is an entertaining, albeit somewhat puzzling movie.

The viewer is deliberately manipulated (was I the only one who thought first of AIDS when she became ill?)it was even something of a letdown to find out that she was pregnant - very Days of our Lives! The mother/daughter relationship is manipulated a trifle too much - and why I wonder did she not tell her mother the truth? I also found the ending confusing - why tell everyone one thing and then do another? Can we assume that she had come to terms with herself - if so, it was a strange way to carry it out.

All of this is a pity - for this is an interesting and gripping movie, which could have been a lot better. I recommend it be viewed as entertainment only without asking too many questions.
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10/10
Amazing Film
guidoabbondanza-3825325 December 2018
I love that Film. The story is Great and Ferzan Ozpetek is a big Artist
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