the wait (l’attesa)

Director: Piero Messina

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Giorgio Colangeli, Lou de Laâge

Released: 14th November 2016

An elegant melodrama about loss, longing and deceit, l’attesa (The Wait) finds Juliette Binoche as Anna, a Frenchwoman who, as the film opens, is grieving from the death of her son, Giuseppe. Her grief is interrupted by the arrival of Jeanette (Lou de Laâge), Giuseppe’s girlfriend who is not up to speed with current events. Initially, Anna is too distressed to break the news to Jeanne, but delaying still further her omission becomes a lie that in turn becomes more nuanced and cruel.


The directorial debut of Piero Messina – who last worked as assistant director on Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty – l’attesa (The Wait) is a remarkably assured chamber piece, beautifully shot in Sicily (though the action essentially takes place in Anna’s villa) but also supremely well acted, particularly by Binoche who elevates Anna towards the kind of complex, matriarchal figure familiar from Greek tragedy, full of emotional and atmospheric currents.


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