Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Italy/France, 1973. F.C. Produzioni, PECF. Story and Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra. Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. Produced by Franco Cristaldi. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Danilo Donati. Costume Design by Danilo Donati. Film Editing by Ruggero Mastroianni. Podcast: My Criterions. Academy Awards 1974. Academy Awards 1975. Golden Globe Awards 1974. National Board of Review Awards 1974. New York Film Critics Awards 1974.
One of Fellini’s most beloved films and the beginning of the last period of his career, based on reminiscences of his own life growing up in a tiny Italian town during the rise of fascism. A young teenage boy discovers love and sex while living with his embittered mother and overworked father, his overly amorous grandfather lording over everything with his witty advice. There’s no singular plot, but like all of the maestro’s films is an episodic adventure with each story getting more colourful and fun as the story progresses until the beautiful, bittersweet ending. Giuseppe Rotunno’s cinematography is some of his loveliest and poetic ever, and Nino Rota’s musical score is, as usual, divine. One of the best films of the seventies, and the early classroom are some of the best moments of young school life ever committed to film.