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Don't Move

A Misogynist Melodrama

About.com Rating 1 Star Rating

By Marcy Dermansky

Penelope Cruz in Sergio Castellitto's

Penelope Cruz in Sergio Castellitto's "Don't Move."

Yes, Penelope Cruz too can go ugly/pathetic for critical acclaim. It's done the trick for so many other beautiful actresses: Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, and Charlize Theron won Oscars this way, and Cruz received Best Actress from the European Film Awards for her unfortunate transformation into Italia, the destitute, uneducated, whiny, weepy peasant who falls madly in love with the man who mistreats her.
Give her some tacky blue eye shadow, wobbly high heels, a horrendous hair cut, some false front teeth and Cruz really does look bad. She certainly doesn't seem like the kind of woman a successful doctor would want to rape, impregnate, buy shoes and risk ruining his life for. Which is exactly what happens in Sergio Castellitto's preposterously bad film "Don't Move."
There are almost too many things wrong with this melodrama to really get into it: the overbearing theme music and the cinematically pouring rain, the series of flashbacks, all the crying, brooding, and the passion. Expect lots of ugly sex, mainly in uncomfortable places. Add to that the film's manipulative framing: a potentially fatal motorbike accident. While doctors perform emergency brain surgery on Timotheo's darling daughter, the weary father paces the hospital halls, remembering his tragic affair with his tragic peasant.
"Don't Move" has the added bonus of being terrifically misogynist. Upper class Timotheo (performed by director Castellitto) doesn't love his beautiful, independent wife (Claudia Gerini.) In fact, he resents her for her competence, desiring instead the needy, less attractive waif--precisely because she needs him. Timotheo can sexually assault his new woman, time after time, and always come back for more! What more does a man want? Based on Margaret Mazzantini's prize winning novel, this romantic tear jerker aims to be a moving love story, but the squalid relationship between Timotheo and Italia--based on power and economic privilege—will turn your stomach.
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