Anna (Alba Rohrwacher) is a thirtyish accountant living in monotonous, childless comfort with her irreproachably well-intentioned loaf of a boyfriend (Giuseppe Battiston). That’s before she meets Domenico (Pierfrancesco Favino). Here, Come Undone becomes the chronicle of an on-the-side love affair threatening status quos. It is to the credit of the actors that they make Anna and Domenico’s immediate mutual attraction tangible, and director Silvio Soldini has an adroit, offhand style, inferring feelings from observed behavior as much as through dialogue. The setting is Milan; the particulars are not far from any hectic, precariously middle-class 21st-century existence. Domenico stretches his salary from a catering company to support his family, while he and Anna must hustle to steal an hour from their chartered schedules, finally connecting in a motel after qualms and furtive misfires, to create a shelter away from everything else. The hot sex has the rhythm of actual hot sex, and quotidian life is rendered convincingly in every detail. The inevitable question: Is it enough for a movie to transcribe these experiences with moral neutrality? Come Undone ends with less than a proper gut-punch of cumulative effect, but this self-consciously modern movie contains classical pleasures: Battiston flirting with the stock-comic cuckold, a someone’s-coming-quick-hide-in-here scene straight out of a boudoir farce.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 1, 2010