Matrimonio all'italiana (1964)
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Wow, this is a great movie. Entertaining with great performances. I'm surprised that it's not in more lists.
Marriage Italian Style entirely belongs to Sophia Loren. Sorry, Marcello Mastroianni. He plays a successful businessman who becomes enamored of her, a prostitute, in post-war Italy. Head over heels about him, she soon becomes a kept woman, always frustrated with a relationship that can never go anywhere because she's property, and property that's to be ashamed of. In the first part of the film, as their love affair is revealed through flashbacks, it becomes impossible to side with him, and in a way, with her. She deserves better, and we resent her love for him. But there are twists coming, and Loren's Filume may have other reasons for securing his commitment. We're led to believe she's a romantic, but she may be much more practical a character. But the twists keep coming, emotional ones, that create a pleasant ambiguity. You're thinking a certain way one minute, completely differently the next. What's real and what's a lie? Personally, and this is going to be a spoiler, avert your eyes, I think they're all his. But you could read half a dozen other meanings in that final scene alone.
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #58 in Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film Nominees
This movie ranks #133 in Il Grande Cinema Italiano
This movie ranks #529 in NY Times' The Essential 1,000 Films to See