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DVD Reviews:  Respiro

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Adam Dumicich
Distributed by:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Running Time: 91 Minutes





ďGrazia is a mother of three who spends suffocating days packing fish while her husband Pietro is at sea. Her oft-erratic behavior leads Pietro into thinking she may need medical attention, and he prepares to send her off to a psychiatric institute in Milan. Their son Pasquale, the one person who understand his mother the most, vows to do whatever it takes to foil his father's plan.Ē 

Wow, that plot outline makes the movie seem like an exciting, and moving story that would be sure to win over almost anyone who was to watch it. Pity thatís not true. Respiro is unfortunately quite dull, and none too moving for that matter either. The movie does clearly point out that Grazia certainly has it hard, and that her husband and kids are type which should probably have been drowned at birth. The problem is, thereís just no feeling to it all. Well no, thatís not entirely true; you do get a strong sense of loathing for pretty much everyone in the movie but Grazia, but not much else. 

The acting throughout is quite good, as is the script (although neither are spectacular), so I find it hard to point out exactly where itís gone wrong. Personally I think I have to just put it down to some movies have it, and some donít. And this movie doesnít have it.


Presented in 16x9 (1.78 aspect ratio) the picture is lacking a little in the sharpness stakes, and there is a reasonable amount of grain throughout (not too distracting though). I did however notice a lot of film artifacts through the movie and too much edge enhancement (a way of making the image look sharper than it really is, mainly used for VHS). On a positive note, the colors are nicely presented, although mainly washed out (clearly a decision made by the director, and of no fault of the transfer), but there was no color bleed.


Although being a 5.1 channel mix, Respiro is mainly dialogue driven, therefore almost never using the surrounds or subwoofer, but you canít really expect anything more. The voices appear clear (Itís all in Italian, so I canít be certain), and whatever background noise there is (mainly the sound of scooters) also appears to be quite accurate.


All together this is not a very inspiring selection of extras. The filmographies are nice to have (do you remember back in the good ďoldĒ days of DVD when that was considered a big deal?), but in this day and age you should be able to expect more. Not altogether bad, but also not terribly good.

  • 3 filmographies (Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato and Emanuele Crialese)

  • A photo gallery containing 8 photos from the production

  • Theatrical trailer for Respiro

  • Plus 4 other International Trailers (The Best Manís Wedding, My Wife is an Actress, Time Out, and Read My Lips)


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