Breaking and Entering: DVD review

Starring: Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright, Martin Freeman, Vera Farmiga
Written and Directed by: Anthony Minghella

Breaking and Entering lyrically addresses the intertwining lives of people in London who might normally never interact-landscape architect, a Bosnian immigrant, a cleaning lady, a prostitute, a rebellious teenager. It is the meshing of those that live in posh areas of North London and those that live in the notoriously “dicey” area of King’s Cross that makes for this provocative and insightful portrait.

Will [Law] is a partner in a landscape architect firm located in King’s. While his professional life is booming, his personal life is withering. When his firm suffers mysterious series of break-ins, Will decides to investigate it. This causes his long-term relationship with his Swedish girlfriend Liv (Wright) and their autistic daughter to suffer and the emotional chasm between them grows as does the couple’s inability to communicate.

After a break-in, Will follows one of the thieves home and becomes intrigued by the teenager’s mother, Amira (Binoche). Their lives become entangled and deception lingers amidst the passion. Breaking and Entering focuses on the effect a crime has on someone personally whether to destroy or to mend. Minghella uses the break-in as a tipping point for tearing down metaphoric walls and for shattering preconceived notions about people.

This is Law’s best role to date. He simultaneously exudes compassion and self-doubt. Binoche is brilliant in showcasing the nuanced difficulties of being an immigrant. Through simply a look or mannerism, Wright silently screams disconnected woman so remarkably. Once again, Minghella wrote a lovely and compelling film.

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