Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Alternate title: The Eclipse
Italy/France, 1962. Cineriz, Interopa Film, Paris Film. Scenario and dialogue by Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, scenario collaborators Elio Bartolini, Ottiero Ottieri. Cinematography by Gianni Di Venanzo. Produced by Robert Hakim, Raymond Hakim. Music by Giovanni Fusco. Production Design by Piero Poletto. Costume Design by Bice Brichetto, Gitt Magrini. Film Editing by Eraldo Da Roma.
Monica Vitti wanders another Antonioni landscape in a vacant haze, this time unsure of her love life and unable to do anything about it. The last of the great director’s ragged trilogy about the empty value of bourgeois life, L’Eclisse stars Vitti as an independent Italian woman who breaks off her engagement with her fiance (Francisco Rabal) and later begins an affair with a money-minded, emotionally shallow stock broker (Alain Delon). In between these developments, she visits her mother at the stock market and watches as madly obsessed buyers win big or lose enormously, depending on the day. Antonioni doesn’t keep quite the same hold on the through line as he does with the missing girl plot of L’Avventura (his masterpiece) or the husband-wife discord of La Notte, but damn if he doesn’t make a beautiful film. His mise-en-scene and naturalistic acting are stunning no matter what the story, and Vitti’s depth is always fascinating to explore.
The Criterion Collection: #278
Cannes Film Festival Award: Jury Special Prize (tie)