Le Amiche (1955)

MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

Italy, 1955.  Trionfalcine.  Screenplay by Michelangelo Antonioni, , collaboration with , based on the novel Tra Donne Sole by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Highlight among the pre-Avventura films that Michelangelo Antonioni made before his rise to stardom at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. A manager of a fashionable boutique () comes to Turin to open a new store and is immediately inducted into a world of high-society girlfriends and their romantic entanglements. A young Valentina Cortese stands out as the brilliantly talented wife of a less successful artist () who is made miserable by his infidelity. Rossi Drago is amused by the complications of her friends’ love lives while enjoying a sweet flirtation of her own with a construction foreman. When her friends’ policy of bickering and gossip results in genuine tragedy, however, she realizes that she has been dabbling in a world that she no longer can understand. Features excellent dialogue and a breathtaking representation of female characters that goes totally against what is often seen in other European films of the period: instead of Rossellini’s tragic heroines or Fellini’s projected fantasies, these ladies exist from their own points of view.  The actresses should be praised even further for grabbing an inch and taking a mile with their superb performances.

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