Breaking and Entering (2006)

Genre(s): Drama
Weinstein Company || R - 119 minutes - $28.95 || May 8, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-05-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Anthony Minghella
Writer(s): Anthony Minghella (written by)
Cast: Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Vera Farmiga, Martin Freeman, Ray Winstone


Theatrical Release Date: January 26, 2006


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Writer/Director Commentary
  • The Making of Breaking and Entering
  • Deleted Scenes w/ Optional Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

“When do you stop looking at each other?”

Will Francis (Law; Cold Mountain) has been with Liv (Wright Penn; Unbreakable) for 12 years, never married and raising a young girl -- not his own -- with autism. He’s a successful architect trying to revitalize a poor part of London known for drugs, prostitution... and theft. A series of burglaries to his business would take him down a road of self-examination. After a stakeout on his building, he tracks down one of the thieves, Miro, to his home where Will meets and falls for Miro’s mother, Amira. Amira emigrated from war-torn Bosnia to England where she works as a seamstress.

Skillfully written and, especially, directed by Anthony Minghella (The Talented Mr. Ripley) Breaking and Entering slowly builds not to some over-the-top conclusion or revelation (a la Crash), but instead it takes this flawed Will Francis character and forces him to examine his relationship and how it got there.

The film is also well cast between Juliette Binoche and Robin Wright Penn to Jude Law in a role that, to be perfectly honest, is close to what he’s done a couples times before. I would say the character is a cross between Alfie (minus flirty comedy) and Closer. Yet I could not help but be captivated with him onscreen as he slowly goes down a, perhaps, life-changing path.

Binoche and Penn also turn in fine performances that aren’t exactly memorable but still emote enough passion to further the story and Law’s character. Since they’re really the supporting parts and probably even underwritten, the two still do a sufficient job with what they had.

Another aspect that normally ignored is the score. In the case of Breaking and Entering, Gabriel Yared puts together a score that is both haunting and sad. Like the movie itself, it’s not something that is plainly obvious, instead it lures you into the drama centered around these characters.

The crown jewel, however, belongs to Minghella’s direction. He opens the film with only a voice-over, focusing on Law and Penn riding in a car through the city that is reflected on a windshield. Some might find a dialogue-less scene boring or whatnot, but the quieter the scene, the better. He doesn’t over stylize anything nor use any kind of nifty camera moves/tricks. It is simple but effective.

Breaking and Entering has one flaw and that’s the story. I didn’t become fully immersed in the story but on the same token, between Jude Law and Minghella’s direction, this is certainly a worthy and sadly overlooked subtle gem.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Writer/Director Commentary - Anthony Minghella explains a range of things about the film like the history of King’s Crossing, his previous ideas, the story itself (he admits he was “shocked” that one of his characters was from Bosnia) and doing proper research for locations and characters. The conversation never becomes dull or boring and Minghella keeps things on track and provides the listener with some interesting thoughts.

Lie. Cheat. Steal. Love. Making Breaking and Entering (12:51) - A nice little ‘making-of’ featurette with some of your usual sound bites from everyone involved including Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn, Juliette Binoche, producer Sydney Pollack and writer/director Anthony Minghella.

Deleted Scenes (8:48) - The set of 6 deleted scenes has an optional commentary from Minghella, who begins the segment talking about that it’s funny that, as a director who has final cut, they put the stuff cut out on the DVD. For me, I like the idea of the deleted footage being included to see how things could’ve been different/changed. I digress, the selection of scenes here were in fact cut for good reasons. Also, the rest of Minghella’s comments chats on the specific scenes and why he eventually removed it.

In a rare move, the disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Breaking and Entering is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35 OAR) and the transfer looks great. The film itself is toned down with even some brighter colors are soft. I didn’t notice any sort of dust or scratches so another good transfer from The Weinstein Company and Miramax.

There are two audio tracks available: one is a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is more than appropriate since this is a conversation driven movie. Ambient sounds do make use of the other speakers while the center channel is used for dialogue. The other is a French Dolby 5.1 track...



.::OVERALL::.

Breaking and Entering broke into and went quickly out of the theaters, so it’s a shame that not many people were able to see it. Now with DVD, I hope those reading will try it out because of Jude Law’s solid performance with Anthony Minghella’s incredible direction. No, it is not a classic nor some ignored Oscar film, but Breaking and Entering is one of the better films released in a weakened 2006.