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FACING WINDOWS (USA) FACING WINDOW (UK) aka THE WINDOW IN FRONT
aka LA FINESTRA DI FRONTE
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Massimo Girotti, Raoul Bova, Filippo Nigro, Serra Yilmaz, Maria Grazia Bon, Massimo Poggio, Ivan Bacchi, Olimpia Carlisi, Rosaria De Cicco, Enrico Grassi, Flavio Insinna, Elisabeth Kaza, Billo Thiernothian
Director: Ferzan Ozpetek
Countries: Italy / UK/ Turkey / Portugal
Language: Italian (English subtitles)
UK: 107 mins
USA Rated: R for language and some sexuality
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 18 June 2004 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 17 September 2004 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 3 September 2004 (Limited Release - London)
1943, Italy: In the darkest days of the war, a young baker's apprentice suddenly murders his employer before taking to the empty midnight streets, frantically searching for someone or something...a haunting image of passion, rage and desperation.
Sixty years later: Passion seems to be missing from the life of Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), a young wife and mother of two who appears to have found some sense of domestic peace. Her husband, Filippo (Filippo Nigro), is a good man, but saddled with a poor-paying night shift, and Giovanna supplements her own full-time income as a poultry inspector by baking pastries and deserts for a local pub. With more than enough to do, Giovanna isn't too pleased when Filippo insists on bringing home a confused elderly man (Massimo Girotti) they find wandering in the streets. In and out of lucidity, the old man utters a single name ("Simone"), and to appease Giovanna, Filippo insists that he will take the man to a police station the following morning. But by the next evening, the old man is still there. Once again, Filippo has let her down.
However, the older man's presence and the mystery of his identity begin to have a profound effect on Giovanna. When she begins her weekly baking, the old man can suddenly recall the secret of how to make perfect flour for pastries. At the same time, Giovanna continues her indulgence of gazing out her apartment window to the flat opposite hers, where a handsome young bachelor lives. At a chance meeting in a bar Giovanna learns that the bachelor, Lorenzo (Raoul Bova) is a banker who is due to be transferred to a new branch.
Her neighbor urges Giovanna to have a fling with Lorenzo, but their connection deepens when, one night, Lorenzo aids Giovanna in locating the older man, who has wandered off. As the questions about the old man grow more and more complex, and the secrets of his past are slowly revealed, Lorenzo and Giovanna grow closer, equally consumed by the fate of this gentle old soul and their own obvious attraction. With Lorenzo's departure growing more imminent, and as the old man begins to slowly put the pieces of his life back together, Giovanna finds herself facing a series of choices about her life, her family, and her future, striking an eerily similar chord to the fateful choice that a young baker's apprentice had to make sixty years ago.