Dormant Beauty | Chicago Reader

Dormant Beauty

110 minutes 2013

This brooding ensemble drama by Marco Bellocchio centers on a young woman who's been kept alive in a vegetative state for 17 years, her case inspiring a national debate about mercy killing; the conscious characters include a young demonstrator (Alba Rohrwacher) campaigning for her right to live, a senator (Toni Servillo) about to vote on euthanasia legislation, and the girl's mother (Isabelle Huppert), who's given up her acting career for a life of Catholic devotion. Bellocchio's films range from masterpieces (Fists in the Pocket, Vincere) to pretentious misfires (Devil in the Flesh, The Conviction); this one ranks somewhere in between, a convoluted story that considers politics, religion, and individual will but never really gets to the point. In French and Italian with subtitles.

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