Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Italy/France/West Germany, 1986. Produzioni Europee Associate, Les Films Ariane, France 3 Cinema, Revcom Films, Stella Film, Rai 1, Anthea Film. Story by Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra, Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra, Tullio Pinelli. Cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli, Ennio Guarnieri. Produced by Alberto Grimaldi. Music by Nicola Piovani. Production Design by Dante Ferretti. Costume Design by Danilo Donati. Film Editing by Nino Baragli, Ugo De Rossi, Ruggero Mastroianni. Golden Globe Awards 1986. National Board of Review Awards 1986.
Fellini reunites with two icons who were instrumental in his emergence as a noted figure of cinema, Giulietta Masina (also Mrs. Fellini) and Marcello Mastroianni. They play a once-famous dancing team who in their youth modeled themselves after Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire and thrilled generations of Italian stage and screen audiences. Now, after years of estrangement, they’ve agreed to be reunited for the first time in decades on a highly publicized television program. Fellini tries to be nostalgic as he laments the corrosion of modern media having become overwhelmingly commercial, but the overall effect of the piece is disappointingly bitter. Like And The Ship Sails On, this one’s political messages hit you over the head in the most obvious manner, but here the tone is didactic and the production design is, atypical for Fellini, ragged and unattractive.