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Before It Had a Name (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 2007 (USA)
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A young Italian woman inherits from her deceased lover an enigmatic modern house in the New York country side, and goes to see it for the first time. When she arrives she meets the caretaker of the house...


Giada Colagrande



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Cast overview:
Willem Dafoe ... Leslie
Giada Colagrande ... Eleonora
Seymour Cassel ... Jeff
Isaach De Bankolé ... Waiter
Emily Cass McDonnell ... Gail
Claudio Botosso Claudio Botosso ... Karl
Bari Hyman ... Local Policewoman
Spenser Leigh Spenser Leigh ... Girl crossing street


A young Italian woman inherits from her deceased lover an enigmatic modern house in the New York country side, and goes to see it for the first time. When she arrives she meets the caretaker of the house...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Widow See more »

Filming Locations:

New Paltz, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Spoofs The French Chef (1962) See more »


Domani e un Altro Giorno (The Wonders you Perform)
Written by Jerry Chesnut (as Jerry Chesnut)
Performed by Ornella Vanoni
Published by Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

Now watching the plants grow is more satisfying.
13 April 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Italian-born Eleonora has inherited from her deceased lover Karl, an ultra-modern and isolated house in the middle of the woods. It's winter and she meets the mysterious caretaker Leslie, who eventually ends up not only just looking after the house, but also that of Eleonora, as she tries to adapt to her new surroundings and a growing attraction between the pair.

What was I expecting? A thriller indeed, but it wasn't quite so. That's just the advertising on the package for ya! I'm quite perplex about everything. The title, the story and the motivation. So how to classify it? Well, this wooden character drama is more a enigmatically moody romance bound-story of alienation, possession and dependence twisted into a complicatedly passionate relationship of two masked individuals. Co-writer (along with William Dafoe) and director Giada Colagrande's art-house film is just too clinical, distant and calculated with its mysteriously metaphoric story, which it leaves you questioning what does it all really mean… although when its sudden conclusion materialises, you'll thinking why should I actually care. What we go through feels aimless with ponderous exposition of dead air that focuses of insignificant details and images. Sterile dialogues can contributed to many awkward developments, but more so make for an leaden experience, as it never delves deep enough. Like it believes it does. The sexually salty activities filtered in just never convince and are far from erotic. They are kind of a bump in the already sluggish flow. The base of the plot makes for something interesting and fresh, but it's never fulfilling and I thought there'll be more to it then all of this dreary lingering. Colagrande's direction is professionally stylish and suitably gloomy to want she imagines, but everything feels like it's in slow motion and can get caught up admiring the same views. Most of the action stays at the one location… the house. Camera-work is potently taut, but the sullen musical score can get a bit ridiculous when it goes for some dramatically stabbing music cues that served little sense and purpose to the scenes. Giada Colagrande plays it sensually and William Dafoe sleep walks the part. He looks dog tired! While Seymour Cassel, pokes his head in now and then.

Just where is it heading, is anyone's guess. Well, that's if you can wait around for it. I think I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, as it's definitely not what I was expecting from this Indie film.

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