Enhanced by a good musical score and good cinematography, this first-time directorial effort by Francesca Comencini is an engrossing, partially autobiographical story of a drug-addicted couple who heroically try to break their destructive habit. Maria (Giulia Boschi) and Paolo (François Siener) agree to live apart and not reunite until they are heroin-free. Their scheme works, and to celebrate they take a vacation in Sri Lanka together -- but it was ill-timed. The two lapse in their resolve and soon they are shooting up as before. Paolo despairs of being normal again, and Maria devotes herself to playing her grand piano as a consolation and inspiration in her fight against her drug habit. The couple's differing attitudes toward their addiction soon reach dramatic and tragic proportions, as the film nears the closing credits.
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