They come out of nowhere…films you never felt much enthusiasm for, but then one day you suddenly want to give them another shot. And then you do, and you discover that (a) they’re just as dispiriting as you remember or (b) they play somewhat better than you expected.

For me, Anthony Minghella‘s Breaking and Entering (’06) is one of those films. Or it became one, I should say, two or three hours ago.

If Minghella were with us today, would he be a wokester? Or a contrarian like myself — an “East Berliner”?

One reason I’d like to re-watch this film is because there are no decent HD clips or trailers — everything looks soft and fuzzy.

Posted on 12.14.06: “Minghella’s screenplay was inspired by his London studio flat having been repeatedly burgled three or four years ago when he was off making Cold Mountain in Romania. Similarly, an office managed by a married architect (Jude Law) and his partner in London’s half-seedy, half-emerging King’s Cross district is repeatedly broken into and ripped off.

“Law eventually spots the teenaged thief (Rafi Gavron), follows him home, and develops an immediate attraction for his Bosnian-refugee mom (Juliette Binoche). Curiously, despite Law’s well-known tabloid history and the fact that he may have portrayed one too many hounds over the past three or four years (Closer, Alfie), he and Binoche quickly sink into a steamy affair. As soon as it begins you can’t help but think, ‘Here we go again.’

“Minghella is a major believer in volcanic currents between lovers, and it’s clear he feels more of an allegiance to Law’s affair with Binoche than Law’s marriage to a chilly Nordic blonde (Robin Wright Penn) who always seems vaguely pissed about something or other. There are no sex scenes between Law and Penn (naturally, given the nature of most marriages) but the action he shares with Binoche is intense and quite splendid.

“The fact that Law gives her great oral sex seems to underline Minghella’s basic attitude, which is that he’s much more into exotic and uncertain alliances than steady and familiar ones.

“In a 12.14.06 article, N.Y. Times profiler Sarah Lyall says noted that Breaking and Entering is about a “clash of cultures between the rich and the poor, the privileged and the disaffected, that churns beneath the surface of contemporary London.” This is certainly a part of it, but the movie eventually settles into a kind of guilty meditation piece that’s half about Law’s wandering penis and half about class disparity and liberal guilt.

“Some people have been muttering that the film is inconclusive, half-there and indifferently off on its own beam. The biggest complaint is that it has a lousy ending, which it does. But it’s not a ‘bad’ film, by which I mean it’s not, you know, boring.

“The performances by Law, Binoche, Rafi Gavron and Ray Winstone (as a detective) are more than absorbing for the most part, and the atmosphere seems recognizably “real.” But there’s not a lot of residue when you leave the theatre. The film does a fast fade in your head.

Posted 16 years ago by Mgmax, le Corbeau: Anthony Minghella, the Hugh Hudson of our time…

English Patient = Chariots of Fire
The Talented Mr. Ripley = Greystoke
Cold Mountain = Revolution
Breaking & Entering = Lost Angels

Posted by Joncro: “This film is actually a little like Stephen FrearsDirty Pretty Things. Both are about how the poor in London (often immigrants) are ignored by the better off. DPT is better though.

“In fact, Mingella was at the screening we saw and I he said something very interesting, though unintentionally. Discussing how he got the idea for the script, he said that he had never realized that there were poor people in Camden (a London borough) where he had lived and worked all his life. This comment really shocked me. A 50 year-old guy, a writer, supposedly observant, surprised to discover council estates and crime in his neighborhood? I think you can guess a lot about the movie from this comment.

“Also, Jude Law and Juliette Binoche have no discernible chemistry.”