Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. Italy, 1965. Vides Cinematografica. Story and Screenplay by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Enrico Medioli, Luchino Visconti. Cinematography by Armando Nannuzzi. Produced by Franco Cristaldi. Production Design by Mario Garbuglia. Costume Design by Bice Brichetto. Film Editing by Mario Serandrei.
Claudia Cardinale brings her American husband to her childhood home, a giant estate owned by her crumbling aristocratic family. There she is reunited with her brother (Jean Sorel), whom she hasn’t seen in a long time and who brings her back to a time in her life before she had anything as healthy as marriage in her life. Their mother lives in a private villa after suffering a nervous breakdown, her children continuing to believe that she was responsible for denouncing their Jewish father years ago and getting him killed by Nazis. This deeply introspective film by Luchino Visconti has much going for it, a probing theme and some gorgeously intricate cinematography. Some audiences will be frustrated by the stunted growth of the story though, as it focuses more on character conflict than actually developing the story to satisfying conclusion. Cardinale is stunning.