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Rated NR

Comedy, Drama, Foreign
Apparently, people in Italy throw a lot of fish at each other. They do it when they’re happy; they do it when they’re mad; they do it when they’re hungry, at least if Respiro is an accurate look at Italian life. The film tells the story Grazia, a beautiful young mother who is a bit of a free spirit, such that she does crazy things like throwing fish and swimming topless and throwing more fish. The local people on the island where she lives think this is not OK, so they ask her if she wouldn’t be more happy at some sort of nice mental institution getting electroshocked and medicated and stuff. She wouldn’t be, it turns out, and trouble ensues. There are some charming moments, and Filippo Pucillo, who plays one of her sons, is especially good, but the film wallows in its own artiness a bit too much. Still, it’s way better than watching the California gubernatorial elections, and where else are you going to see a topless Italian woman throw fish?

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