A mother and her daughter, a mother and her son, and a man living with one and attracted to the other. Miro, a teen from Sarajevo, lives near King's Cross with his mother; he's nimble, able to run across roofs, so his uncle hires him to break into office skylights, so the uncle can boost computers. Twice they steal from Will's architectural firm, so Will stakes it out at night. He follows Miro home and returns the next day and meets Miro's mother, Amira. At home, Will's relationship with Liv is strained - he feels outside Liv and her daughter Bea's circle. The stakeout and Amira's vulnerability are attractive alternatives to being at home. The police, too, watch Miro. Written by
When Will drinks the coffee the sex worker brings to him at midnight, "PRET" can be seen on the coffee-cup sleeve. However, the Pret A Manger at King's Cross closes at 8pm. See more »
Hi. I'm sorry.
You smell of perfume.
Well, I don't know how I do.
Nor do I.
I love you.
Is that an answer?
It's the truth. I feel as if I'm tapping on a window. You're somewhere behind the glass but you can't hear me. Even when you're angry, like now, it's like someone a long long way away is angry with me.
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Like most of Minghella's films, 'Breaking and Entering' is visually very appealing. It has a very polished look but at the same time it portrays London in a very stark realistic way. The nightlife and daytime on the streets is well captured. Production design and art direction are fantastic. Delhomme's cinematography is wild. The frame and compositions are outstanding. Whether it's a wild red fox running through the streets or the sequence with Will chasing Miro, they have been skillfully executed. The rich score flows smoothly with the story.
'Breaking and Entering' can be viewed as a study of characters and their complex relationships. In the centre of the story we are introduced to Will (excellently played by Law) who's a stranger to his own long-term girlfriend and her daughter as a result of which he seeks affection elsewhere, Liv (played by a wonderful Penn) who's a depressed mother and lover, Amira (a mind-blowing Binoche) who's a widow struggling to make a living for herself and her son and Miro (by confidant newcomer Gafron) who's a teenager trying to support his mother by making quick money. In addition there are several interesting characters such as Bruno (played by a vivacious Ray Winstone) the chatty good-hearted CID, Sandy (a funny Martin Freeman) the friend who might have found the 'love of his life' and Oana the philosophical prostitute (by a brilliant and barely recognizable Vera Farmiga). All the actors do a solid job of bringing them to life.
Minghella also provides a light insight into the lives of immigrants and he does a good job of suggesting, in a subtle way, how life for immigrants living in England is different from that of Brits. He also cleverly shows how the actions of one character leads to having an influence on the lives of another character. The turn in their lives happens from the moment Will sees Miro trying to break in. Eventually it is shown how the character realize what is broken in their lives and what needs to be repaired. A lot of symbolism is used quite effectively, like the wandering fox referring to Will's loneliness and search.
Above all, 'Breaking and Entering' is Minghella's film and it's quite a change from his previous films which were set in different times (unlike the modern time period in this movie). It is this man who skillfully puts it all together. Even though sadly this great director is no more, his films will stay and 'Breaking and Entering' is just the right swansong.
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