Viaggio in Italia (1954)
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An English couple learning to love and fight like Italians.
surprised this is so highly rated. it has lovely cinematography, and some well acted scenes, but is quite thin for a film that ends in the way it does. Ingrid Bergman is excellent, and extremely radiant, whilst George Sanders' character is nasty, cold and mean. Showing us the post-love stage of their marriage, we feel the pain and loss they both feel, but it doesn't have enough substance to sustain the film, despite its short running time. the sightseeing scenes feel more like filler than anything else, as they merely involve Bergman being given a guided tour around various places with little depth. a rather minimal film. i'm not getting the power that so many critics clearly felt.
In Roberto Rossellini's Journey to Italy, the impeccable Ingrid Bergman and so-British George Sanders are a couple on the last leg of their marriage, visiting Naples because of an inheritance. In the pressure cooker of the trip, their loveless arrangement starts to collapse further, providing us with a textured and well-observed portrait. He deals with it by being remote, casually cruel and using his masculine privilege to open up his options. She deals with it by putting the responsibility on herself, of course. She's a romantic - which he chastises her for - and in a romantic Italian setting, it's hard to avoid thinking about what one is missing, and where it all went wrong. Rossellini uses the setting to great advantage, a ruined marriage among the ruins of the Roman empire, where every location tells a story that speaks to Bergman's character, tells her about human nature, reminds her of loss, makes her yearn for the eternal. I don't know that I believe the ending, but in the short term, it works psychologically. And given how everything else in this quiet little picture is so well-judged, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
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In 14 official lists
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This movie ranks #4 in FilmTV's The Best Italian Films
This movie ranks #35 in Akira Kurosawa's A Dream Is a Genius
This movie ranks #50 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #75 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #93 in BFI's 100 Road Movies
This movie ranks #125 in Harvard's Suggested Film Viewing: Narrative Films
This movie ranks #241 in Roy Menarini's Il Grande Cinema Italiano
This movie ranks #263 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #461 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #542 in Cahiers du Cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists
This movie ranks #780 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #948 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #949 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #980 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life