Habitación en Roma (2010)

Habitación en Roma (2010)

Elena AnayaNatasha YarovenkoEnrico Lo VersoNajwa Nimri
Julio Medem


Habitación en Roma (2010) is a English,Spanish,Italian,Russian,Basque,Arabic movie. Julio Medem has directed this movie. Elena Anaya,Natasha Yarovenko,Enrico Lo Verso,Najwa Nimri are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2010. Habitación en Roma (2010) is considered one of the best Drama,Romance movie in India and around the world.

A young Russian woman named Natasha is soon to be married and is on holiday in Rome where she meets Alba. She accompanies Alba to her hotel room as a curious acquaintance and stays as a growing friend. In this room in Rome, the two women come to know one another intimately over the course of the night, and explore and discover themselves along the way. Only the break of day threatens to break their newly forged bond.


Habitación en Roma (2010) Reviews

  • Beautiful, poetic, profound...and very sensual!!!


    I had the great fortune to see this film at the closing gala of the Festival del Cine Español en Màlaga. I have been a great fan of the work of Julio Medem ever since I saw 'La Ardilla Roja' some 15 years ago. And his latest film doesn't disappoint either. However, it is in some ways a departure for him. He said so himself at the press conference the day before the screening. He called it the 'most simple film' he has made so far. This is certainly true as the story is quite straightforward and (apart from a few small scenes), the entire film concentrates on its 2 female protagonists. It is no secret that the film is based on the Chilean film 'En la cama' by Matias Bize. But Medem has made the material entirely his own and developed it in a completely different way. The only things in common with the previous film is that they both charter the encounter of 2 people who only just met during one night in a hotel room. But that's where the similarities stop. Of course the biggest difference is that here the protagonists are both women. Ever since 'Lucia y el sexo' Medem has been concentrating more and more on the exploration of the female psyche. This was most evident in his previous film, the (apart from the end) masterful, yet very misunderstood 'Caotica Ana'. But whereas that film ambitiously delved into deep philosophical questions about the subjugation of the female over 2,000 years of patriarchy, here this exploration takes a simpler, though no less profound form - the exploration of female love & sensuality. Having 2 women instead on a mixed couple (or 2 men for that matter), allowed Medem to concentrate on this aspect without any distraction. He said at the press conference that for a number of years now he has been discovering and exploring his own feminine side. And it is exactly this which gives the film its universal appeal, instead of being 'just a lesbian' tale. The feelings and sentiments expressed & shown will resonate with every viewer, regardless of their sex and/or sexual orientation. This is probably also in no small way due to the involvement of both actresses in the shaping of their characters as well as the final script (Medem re-wrote the screenplay a number of times to incorporate their inputs & ideas). And their respective performances are excellent. There is real chemistry between Elena Anaya and Natasha Yarovenko - without this the film just wouldn't have worked. Both give very subtle and nuanced performances as what begins as just a night of fun & sex gradually turns into something far deeper as both characters realise they are falling in love, something neither had bargained for. Guarded at first, telling each stories which may or may not be true, both women start bit by bit to reveal more about themselves until in the end their souls are as naked as their bodies. A couple of months ago a so-called promo circulated on the internet, cobbled together from stolen material from the first week of shooting, which suggests the film is no more than a voyeuristic soft-core fest. But nothing could be further from the truth! Yes, both are naked most of the films running time, and yes, there is some sex. But the sex is beautifully filmed and essential within the story line. And the fact that they are naked is just that, a natural fact! They would be, given the situation, and one soon forgets about it. What matters are the characters and the way they develop and interact with each other. Being quasi a 2-hander, the film does have quite a theatrical feel. Most of the dialogue is in English. That seems only natural, as one girl is Spanish and the other Russian, both meeting in Italy. This allows for some poignant moments when neither can really express what their feel in this foreign language and start speaking in their own tongues - which, of course, the other can't understand. But Medem also works with silences - some of the most profound realizations happen just with facial expressions. Intervowen in all this are the directors trademark poetic touch, with references to philosophy, art & history, as well as to his own films - there is even a reference to his next project, Aspasia (look her up on Wikipedia!). Coupled with excellent, atmospheric camera work (well, it is a Julio Medem film after all) and an evocative soundtrack with music by Jocelyn Pook and Russian Red, this is a deeply touching and satisfying film, one that stays with you. At least for me, but judging by the long standing ovation for Medem, Elena Anaya, Natasha Yavorenko plus the film's producer, Alvaro Longoria at the end, I don't seem to be the only one who feels like that.

  • Intoxicating


    Julio Medem's "Room in Rome" is the tale of a Spanish lesbian who, one night in Rome, picks up a Russian girl who has never been with a woman before. At first the girl is nervous and after some foreplay in the lesbian's hotel room, she gets cold feet and sneaks away while the other girl is sleeping. But she has forgotten her mobile phone. She returns to the hotel room and knocks on the door. The other girl answers the door naked just as a waiter comes to deliver food to the room next door. She doesn't cover herself up but tells the waiter they may want some food later. And so begins a night of games, fantasies, laughter, love-making and the baring of souls as well as bodies. Medem has created a film of rare beauty, intoxicating romanticism and scorching eroticism. The girls spend almost the entire film nude, the camera slowly panning over their warmly lit skin and lingering in loving close-up on the passion-lit faces. To a soundtrack of lush pop music and opera and amidst the classical paintings that cover the walls and comment on the action, the girls engage in games of fabricated identity, only gradually pealing off the layers of fantasy to reveal the often tragic secrets that have made them who they are. It is perhaps ironic that a film about a relationship between two women should be one that drew me into its story more deeply than any romantic film I can remember, and yet I could identify with both and fell in love with both. What makes the film so powerful is not the sex, erotic as that is, but the by turns playful and compassionate interactions between the women. This is an open spontaneous encounter between two people which necessarily changes them, and it is one which captures the rich joy of life. The film has the classical beauty of a film by Bertolucci or Visconti, but unlike their best films, which tend to look at the darker side of life, "Room in Rome" is ultimately, in spite of some powerful moments of angst, a feel-good movie. The only previous Medem film I've seen was "Sex and Lucia" (2001) which is another favourite which also featured a supporting role by Elena Anaya, who plays the lesbian in this film. I look forward to catching up with more of the work of this talented Spanish filmmaker.

  • Erotic and Soulful


    Room in Rome is the story of a short-lived physical and emotional liaison between two women in a hotel room in the last night of summer. It would be a night of intense discovery, a tour de force between two ways of seeing life, love and sex. The story is inspired in the Chilean movie En la Cama, which at its turn was inspired by the American film Before the Sunrise. However, the setting and dialogs have been reworked and reinvented by Medem, as the story happens in Rome and the couple has the same sex. Julio's Medem's well known mastery and filming sensibility are seen everywhere in this movie. The use of the lighting and framing of the images are precious, elegant, warm and welcoming, very artistically composed with a great use of chiaroscuro and decoration. The room, which is the main set in which the movie happens, is not overwhelmingly present or a close asphyxiating place, but a very open fluid ethereal container where the story happens. Medem positions and moves the camera so the viewer feels is in the room, not watching the room. The spacial perspective is, therefore, very different. This is necessary as otherwise the movie would have felt oppressive and theatrical not a real and cinematic. There is something magic about the way Medem has used the paintings in the room as well s the decoration of the ceilings, the three spaces of the room (dormitory, bathroom and balcony) and the decorative elements in it, not only to offer different facets of the personality of the characters, or show different phases in their relationship, but to incorporate those little visual elements into the story, like the little angels on the ceiling, the Venus on the bedside table, etc. This is very Medem, who always uses the surroundings as part of the story not as a mere decorative item. This movie reminded me of Medem's Chaotic Anna, in the way he incorporates art into life, and gives art a meaning that is never decorative or purely aesthetic. The movie could have been claustrophobic and theatrical, but it is instead fresh and cinematic. The story, despite happening in the room, goes well beyond the room through the conversations of the characters and their use of the Internet to show pieces of their present and identities. Medem also shows a wonderful direction of the actors, which is reduced to the two leading actresses and four very secondary roles. The bed scenes are very erotic, definitely hot, still tastefully filmed. The two main actress are great in their role, especially Elena Anaya as the honest and emotionally fragile Spaniard lesbian Alba. She believes her role, and gives all what she has, showing a great acting registry from comedy to tragedy, from sweetness to cockiness. Natasha Yarovenko is not as good, but still believable as the mysterious athletic sincere and strong hetero Russian beauty, shocked by her own attraction towards Alba. There seems to be certain intimacy between the camera and the actresses, an understanding and acceptance that makes the story believable. Moreover, the two actress have a great chemistry on camera and, that is extremely important in a movie like this. The main problem, to me, with the movie is going over the top in the drawing of the characters, so they seem somewhat removed from the viewer, not always believable. 1/ Do the characters need to have perfect bodies for the story be more believable? I mean, the two actresses have wow bodies, especially Yarovenko, so you feel that it is pure logic that they felt attracted to each other. What about having the same story with two actresses that feel attracted to each other but look more normal and less gorgeous? Said in other words, characters for which the physic attraction is not that so obvious, still equally strong. Otherwise, you are stereotyping lesbians and bi-curious as gorgeous girls only attracted to super-dudder gals. 2/ Do the characters need to have such a high professional profile to be more interesting? I don't think so. A normal person can have a great story to tell, immense depth in her soul, be very hot and attractive, and still be an office worker, for example. Finally, despite he music being very beautify, it is also very repetitive and you end resenting it. To be honest, when I heard that Medem wanted to film a movie like this, I thought that it was just out of character. But, after watching it, I think he has adopted the story and made it completely his. A story that I thought would not interest me at all, and, on the contrary, I enjoyed immensely.

  • Academy Award for Best Costume Design


    Habitación en Roma (2010) was released in the U.S. with the title Room in Rome. The film was written and directed by Julio Medem. The movie stars Elena Anaya as Alba, a Spanish woman who meets a Russian woman, Natasha Yarovenko (Natasha) in a bar in Rome, and brings her back to her hotel room. The plot of the movie consists of the time the two women spend together overnight in the room. It was hard for me to decide whether this film was soft core porn with a plot attached, or a serious work of art with lots of nudity. Elena Anaya is extremely beautiful, and Natasha Yarovenko is impossibly beautiful, so it would be hypocritical to complain about the nudity per se. However, for a review like this, it's important to help other people know what type of film they should expect when they walk into the theater or push "play" for the DVD. Arguments could be made for both points of view about whether this is a "serious" film. Alba and Natasha do have some serious discussions, and what starts out as superficial banter becomes more soul-searching as the night progresses. Whether the two women are changed forever by the encounter is something each viewer will have to decide. We saw this film at the Cinema Theatre as part of the first-rate ImageOut: Rochester Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The presenter mentioned that, given the almost complete lack of clothes worn by either actor, Room in Rome was the festival film least likely to be nominated for Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards. (True, but in this case, less is more.)

  • Maps, Mirrors


    Folks, there is a spoiler alert on this comment and I urge you to take it seriously. You must see this, then come back. The comment below talks about structure, as my comments usually do. The structure should not be apparent to you before you see it though, because the way you discover this and its mysteries, mirrors the way the two people here discover each other and themselves. +++ Medem is to my mind one of the three greatest living filmmakers. I do not expect everything he does to change my life, but I know he will never fail to enrich in some way. He is all about narrative structure and adventures in folding beyond the norm. He also — so far — has found it useful to place women as the fulcrum of his films. In this he is gentle and insightful. In his structural experiments in prior films he has sometimes been deft but the folding is obvious and does not support the emotional delivery that it should. All of those experiments pay off here. This is film packed with cinematic and narrative devices, and every one works with the others. Every one contributes to a great upswelling of emotional engagement. And folks, the engagement is full of tension, ambiguity, fear. This is love as it is in our souls and not as it is in date movies. Complex unknowns, urges and liquid needs. The actual plot is the thinnest skeleton, and I understand it is borrowed from another film, the way Shakespeare borrowed most of his plot skeletons. Two women — strangers — meet, fall in love and separate in the course of ten hours or so. Commentors will likely focus on the sensuality of some parts of it and the nudity in most. But the real effect is a sensitive discovery of the nature of urge captured by another soul. This has two explorers who see each other fully, the basis of love; Medem raises the experience of their sight into each other to the level of our sight of them. Early we are told that this room in which the entire film occurs is on the site of the ancient Roman theater. The characters pause as they feel the eyes of the audience upon them. This is conveyed by the device of a map. Thereafter, the women in the room have their own theater as they look out on the world. Microsoft's version of Googlemaps (suitably plugged) provides the maps for how they use the world as the matrix for their discovery. This is a fundamental symmetry. The two see each other while we do. They see into the world as we the world look into that tiny hotel room. Within the room are paintings that themselves are narrative maps and the camera lingers on one and another as great semiotic maps. This map idea is conveyed in the first shot as we have (what is traditionally called) a long tracking shot as we sit in the room "Rear Window"-wise, walk through the credits, see our characters on the street, watch a seduction and then have them appear in the room while we canvas the paintings and nooks therein. It is not an ostentatious shot like Welles, dePalma, Anderson and such have done. It is gentle, almost invisible, a river carrying us into the story, the room. Two paintings in the room matter in the way that Raoul Ruiz often uses. One is about learning of love and passion and the other about experiencing it. Between on the ceiling is a cupid who literally takes over the reality as the symmetries are knotted. This bit of what is called magical realism is triggered early on when there is a point in which one women leaves, the other falls asleep, the camera floats to this cupid and the rest could be a dream — or not. The film ends with an act that alters the map in which they sit — setting a flag — visible to the world from a satellite-cupid. While making love, one woman discovers the topography of the other, calling it so, by gentle caresses. These women are strangers, each with an internal symmetry. Each reveals themselves by telling a story about themselves that has another woman in it. In each case, the stories are inverted: where the teller is actually the other character in the story: a daughter instead of a mother; one twin sister instead of another. In both cases, the one inverted out is an actress. We have similar mirrors throughout the film in terms of cinematic effect. One central and powerful scene literally involves mirrors, with each woman talking to the reflection of the other. Mirrors and architectural and cinematic symmetries feature in almost every shot that is not a closeup. Narrative symmetries occur, for instance we learn that one woman is a mechanical engineer focusing on human transit. She has invented a bike shaped in the form of a woman's back. The rider enters the woman's body. She admires the other's legs, the legs of an athlete and thinks of her future with this woman as a matter of running on her legs. The ambiguous ending revolves on this running. The score alternates between tango-of-souls music when in the dance, and ballads when watching it. Similarly, Medem is unafraid of having nooks and corners dark. All of this structure is invisible, underpinning a deep engagement in love, seeing-knowing, and being. I urge you to see this. It is not just tears and blood you see. You bleed. You cry. Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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