Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Original title: Il Conformista
Italy/France/West Germany, 1970. Mars Film, Marianne Productions, Maran Film. Screenplay by Bernardo Bertolucci, based on the novel by Alberto Moravia. Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. Produced by Maurizio Lodi-Fe. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Costume Design by Gitt Magrini. Film Editing by Franco Arcalli. Academy Awards 1971. Golden Globe Awards 1971.
Jean-Louis Trintignant is excellent as a follower of Mussolini’s fascist politics who lives the completely spotless life of his superiors: he is marrying the right woman, stands for the right conservative beliefs and disdains the right people. Trouble is, the whole thing is a charade and underneath it all (though he’s not always conscious of it), he is miserable. His sexual proclivities actually take him more towards men, and his latest assignment of rubbing out a former teacher of his gives him more conflict than he’s willing to admit. Bernardo Bertolucci’s most critically acclaimed film has all the right elements: a sterling cast (Stefania Sandrelli is memorable as Trintignant’s flaky fiancée), Vittorio Storaro’s catchy cinematography and rich production design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, plus an intelligent screenplay and strong direction. The result of it all when put together isn’t as passionate as it should be, but it is definitely admirable and one can easily see why it stirred up so much attention when it was originally released.