Urban Cinefile
"This girl said to me: Why are you closing your eyes? I want to see your eyes. Men always close their eyes when they fuck me! - "  -Paul Verhoeven reminiscing
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday July 12, 2018 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Timoteo (Sergio Castellito) is a surgeon. His 16 year old daughter, Angela (Elena Perino) lies in the operating theatre after an accident, between life and death, in the very hospital where he works, under the care of a fellow surgeon. As he waits anxiously, Timoteo relives a secret, strange and haunting extramarital affair that coincided with Angela's birth, with Italia (Penelope Cruz), a destitute young woman he met by accident. And now it's as if he wants to confess to Angela and find some redemption in the young girl's survival.

Review by Louise Keller:
A reflective, poetic portrait of a man countering his emotional demons, Don't Move is a haunting, often thought provoking film invigorated by an electric performance by Penelope Cruz. Sensitively directed by its co-star Sergio Castellitto (Mostly Martha) who also co-wrote the script with his wife Margaret Mazzantini, this is a film that reduces emotions to their core. Rain is the metaphor for tragedy, pain, grief. A striking aerial opening shot shows rain teeming down from high in the heavens. The tops of umbrellas twirl on the rain-drenched street, like an individual oasis, and as the camera pans down, we see the ambulance, the stretcher and a forlorn red helmet lying abandoned.

The structure jumps from the present to the past as fluidly as our minds might flit to memories in our past. At times we are confused and unsure of the significance or in which time frame we are. It is not until the story's end that all the pieces mesh together like a picture puzzle that is the sum of many small images and thoughts. One single trigger can re-open a world that has been carefully locked away, taking us again into a past prickly with thorns. With its concise script and searing close ups accentuating every nuance and expression, our journey is an emotional one.

Two women and a man, a teenager struggling for life, a woman sitting on a chair in the rain, a young girl violated, an abandoned young boy.... these are the characters we meet. As we dip in and out of the past, we are always brought back to the present by the pounding, rhythmic beating of a heartbeat.

Cruz inhabits the very essence of Italia with a gritty determination and fervour. As the other woman, she is the little lamb that's lost in the wood, searching for the shepherd who'll watch over her. Castellitto's Timoteo is a man devoured by his demons. On the surface he has it all - a beautiful wife and daughter and a successful career. But he is a paradox: a skilled and respected surgeon meticulous with procedure on one hand, but he can suddenly succumb to a wild, passionate side that even he doesn't understand. Italia and Timoteo meet by chance in the middle of nowhere, and there's a sense of urgency about their first encounter. The ensuing encounters change in tone - tenderness replacing passion and violence. Recently seen in Mel Gibson's The Passion, Claudia Gerini beautifully portrays Timoteo's perfect wife Elsa. 'How little we tell each other,' she says revealingly to her husband.

There are powerful and heartbreaking scenes as Timoteo faces his crisis - both in the present and the past. From the joy of the scene when two people exchange vows over red wine and pecorino to the sadness of a relationship that is over. Life, death, love and remorse blend together in an intricate and complicated web. Melancholy, gripping, stimulating and potent, Don't Move explores life's imponderable emotional complexities.

Published July 14, 2005

Email this article


Non ti Muovre

CAST: Sergio Castellito, Penelope Cruz, Claudia Gerini, Marco Giallini, Pietro De Silva, Vittoria Piancastelli, Elena Perino

PRODUCER: Ricardo Tozzi, Giovanni Stabilini, Marco Chimenz

DIRECTOR: Sergio Castellito

SCRIPT: Margaret Mazzantini, Sergio Castellito (novel by Mazzantini)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gianfilippo Corticelli

EDITOR: Patrizio Marone

MUSIC: Lucio Godoy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Francesco Frigeri, Isabella Rizza

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 11, 2004




DVD RELEASE: June 8, 2005

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2018