A Drama Of Jealousy (1970)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

Original title:  Dramma Della Gelosia–Tutti I Particolari In Cronaca

Alternate title:  Pizza Triangle, Jealousy–Italian Style

Italy/Spain, 1970.  Dean Film, Jupiter Generale Cinematografica, Midega Film.  Screenplay by , , Ettore Scola.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

It’s screwball hilarity all around when passionate flower seller  (at her sexiest) falls madly in love with married stonemason Marcello Mastroianni.  After their torrid love affair cools off, Vitti finds herself even more passionately drawn to a pizzaiolo (Giancarlo Giannini) and then is torn between the two men. One of them exists deep in her heart while the other creates a fire in her loins; what’s a girl to do except try to have them both? Ettore Scola’s grungy comedy points lots of fingers at the hypocrisy of modern-day Italian society, with its one foot steeped in Catholic conservatism and its other trying to live up to the free-love generation, but he’s never bitter in his observations. These characters can’t really find their way to enjoy their carnal embraces, but their attempts are jolly fumbles, not evil sins, and whatever punishment they endure is simply the result of life’s mishaps and not a creator’s judgment (Vitti’s stints in the hospital, for instance, are a terrific source of laughs). The performances are superb, and Scola’s direction is at its finest:  the film’s pace never flags for a second, the comedy is still rich after nearly forty years, and some of the visual gags (including lovemaking in the colourful garbage dumps of Rome) are unforgettable.

Cannes Film Festival Award:  Best Actor (Marcello Mastroianni)

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