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Reviews & Ratings for
La Dolce Vita More at IMDbPro »La dolce vita (original title)

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non-working relations, borderline high society

Author: osmangokturk from Geneve
2 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will not delve into symbols. This is a film about life i.e: relation between a man and a Woman and class differences.

the followings may contain spoiler

Marcello's relation with his fiancée, Emma is not good. He has not a strong affection towards her, he cheats her. Marcello tells that because she is not opening his intellectual, her life only includes kitchen and bedroom, which is imprisoning Marcello. Even though Marcello declare this fact blatantly to Emma and refuses her, he turns back and take her. Then the life of for Marcello changes dramatically and Steiner suicides himself. ( to me Steiner and Marcello has a kind of shared life. Also at the airport when we see that the wife of Steiner looks like Emma herself). As Marcello had chosen the usual rules, marrying his unloved fiancée, he had terminated his life. Marcello now is one of the bohemian peoples. With these people he lives the life as it comes, try to cheer themselves by perverts.

İn the movie, marriage is not good. It present a life between kitchen and the bedroom for Marcello. All the couples in the movie has problems. This very clear throughout the film. Marcello does not love her fiancée and is cheating her. The American actress Sylvia looks very cheerful and flirtatious but is very unhappy and at loggerhead with her husband. Even we don't see the wife of the idealized Steiner. Last but not least the final party is about the celebration of a woman separating from her rich husband.

The high society is chosen to show the contrasts of life, relations and classes blatantly. The army of freelance photographers which include the Marcello himself represent the lower class. Marcello with his talent and hard work had been able to raise his status and make strong connections with this class. He has his own flat and car, and he flirts with them a lot.

the American actress, the parties in the chateaus, the cars, the borderline bohemians are the members of this very high society. The army of paparazzos, Emma, people gathered to listen to the story of little girls seeing Virgin Mary are member of the lower class. The media is good way to become a celebrity and climb to high society. we see this at the scene when two little girls tell that they see Virgin Mary and they try to catch the eyes of media, and people gather to watch this without regarding the heavy rain.

As the alternative to marriage is not depicted in the movie, it implies that his is struggle of life.

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social dynamics

Author: federovsky from bangkok
10 October 2016

Society was changing fast in these few years, and this film, displaying a social sophistication virtually unknown and surely prophetic, may have been instrumental in changing it. Perhaps this is the first time the world had seen some of these characters and situations, the dizzy 60s blonde (plus the husky variant), the paparazzi, and swinging - not shown explicitly, but only thinly veiled.

Journalist Marcello (Mastroianni) is on a trajectory towards nonchalant decadence, the benchmark being set at the beginning by bored socialite Anouk Aimee, who wants to do it in a prostitute's bed while being watched. This is the first section of the film and must have knocked the audience off their seats. It is also perhaps the finest and most meaningful section, notwithstanding Anita Ekberg in the Trevi fountain (it's a pity Ekberg didn't keep the kitten on her head as it was beautifully symbolic).

Each section reads like a portrait of the deadly sins of moral decadence: insincerity (Aimee), superficiality (Ekberg), unreliability (his father), weakness (Steiner), insecurity (his girlfriend), and, least effectively, irrationality (the crowd at the miracle site, a long barely relevant section that the film would have been better without). Individually these things may not bring a man down, but together - the message seems to be - they are enough to erode one's resistance.

Actually, the film may not be about creeping decadence at all, but simply nihilism, the inevitable response to the ultimate meaninglessness of things. In that sense, every section here is not about a sin, a failing, but about meaninglessness, the impossibility, despite our best intentions, of being what we really want.

As with many Fellini films, there's too much raucousness. There are too many parties populated by insufferable characters. Fellini got carried away here and someone ought to have reined him in. Almost all of these peripheral characters are over-the-top-pretentious which gradually dissolves the realism, and, with it, our sympathy. It's always the quiet moments that work best - perhaps that's a consequence of the dubbing technique, which makes the garrulous scenes unpleasant, but when the circus backdrop falls, the sudden serenity is startling and simple gestures take on extraordinary meaning - then it becomes sublime cinema.

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La Complicada Dolce Vita!!

Author: elkabousmehdi from Canada
9 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***Spoilers Alert*** I''m enchanted and more than happy to watch one of Federico fellini's masterpiece, It was a film of 3hours that for me has never preached, It was a movie striving to find a sense to human life as long as the minutes proceeded. The era in which the movie was shot was in Italy (Europe) Post-war, tracing painstakingly nonsense of a decadent life.

At the beginning of the movie there was a helicopter flying out high carrying a statue of Jesus, in which the semi-naked girls reacted once they saw it by saying ''look look it's Jesus'' .Fellini is certainly subtle, but we can infer that Marcelo presence high on the helicopter was considered as a form of highness considered to be valuable and appreciated in the naïve and materialistic eyes of his friends.

Fellini is this movie breaks the rules of conventional narrative style, the film was told over Seven Days, the story follows a suave, ostensibly charming Journalist of the right-wing party tabloid, through his frantic yet boring nightlife. He is the epitome that Fellini chose to depict the meaninglessness of a post-war Italy, that have succumbed into social chit-chat cafés and hectic boredom between the new rich and old aristocrat, prostitute, to single out the spiritual crisis that the society is suffering from despite all the superficialities that is shown off.

Marcelo suffers from it as he goes from his faithful Emma that wants to have a stable life with him, to the American superstar Sylvia that has nothing but fame and plastic beauty to attract the attention of self-exhibitionist society. Marcelo realizes that his life is vapid and it lacks meaning ,that was his inspiration from his friend Steirein that he admired for the stability and he has a family , two kids, he organizes intellectual meetings with his friend. The latter poignantly said '' Sometimes at night the darkness and silence weighs upon me. Peace frightens me; perhaps I fear it most of all. I feel it is only a facade hiding the face of hell. I think, 'What is in store for my children tomorrow?' 'The world will be wonderful', they say. But from whose viewpoint? If one phone call could announce the end of everything? We need to live in a state of suspended animation like a work of art, in a state of enchantment. We have to succeed in loving so greatly that we live outside of time, detached....detached.

Steirn on the contrary has a family, money, success, stability but still is trapped in the same turmoil as Marceliono. Thus the latter couldn't believe it when he knew about Steirn killed his two kids and then himself, therefore it affected him so much that he decided to Instead of moving from journalism to the higher realm of writing he contemplated, he sells out to become a public relations hack, a drunk, a decadent party boy, now within the milieu that he previously saw as the outsider, the reporter observing. He just couldn't settle himself down and think about; he nevertheless carried and continues with his glamorous but hollow life style.

The film moved from the cabaret dancing and glamour celebrations to a somber dawn of day, the lights were dull, that Fellini hardly gives morning events much importance. His father would push us to think that he'll brings us some family feeling throughout his presence. This wasn't the case as his father easily plunged in the bitter sweetness of that exhibitionism night life, but it was ultimately his stamina that didn't afford him to.

The film spans an era that seems not that new for us (now), it's a movie that struck me with its vividness and it still grows with time, that's one of the major marks of a truly great work of art. People don't believe in La dolce vita, they just join each other in a social-spectacular self-esteem, which is the symbol of decayed society. Something that society has built to undermine its own proper values. Marcelo our protagonist in la dolce greatly embodied all the questions that occurred in Fellini's mind, He was carried away by the greed and glamour and fictive-sophistication. He is the wasted-intellect in the middle of a boring yet spectacular irresponsible society.

One of the marvelous scenes in La dolce vita is the orgy party, where there was different people from different ranks and stances in society, they tried to enjoy themselves, but none of that could happen, wherein our drunkard protagonist indulged himself in a series of disrespectful behavior towards the girls that nothing sensual nor affectionate could be felt from. Fellini juxtaposed the opening with a great final sequence, after the nasty party, the revelers poured out onto the beach at dawn, where a group of fishermen captured a dead big ugly mysterious Fish. At the same time an innocent young girl whom Marcelo had met early in the film catches his eye, she started to wave and mimicking to him to come to have a walk with her but Marcello either doesn't understand or refuses to understand. And if he did make contact to her he may have corrupted her too. This was an end from innocent eyes, an end asking for question to be asked, an end that is asking for honesty and true emotions, an end that has left us nevertheless somewhat clueless about what really Fellini wanted to entail by it.

I'm leaving out so much more, including Marcello's relationships with his suicidal fiancée and his strangely devoted relationship to his father, each of which only further underline Marcello's emptiness.

This films is one that will need more than just one viewing to fully grasp its meaning, it'll keep dazzling you every time you watch it.

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Author: SnoopyStyle
10 May 2016

Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) is a man-about-town and a gossip journalist in Rome. His girlfriend Emma overdoses and recovers. Swedish-American bombshell Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) arrives and hangs out with Marcello while the Paparazzo hounds them. Her boyfriend Robert gets angry and hits him. As his series of adventures continue, there is an emptiness to it all and a meaninglessness to his life.

This iconic film has a disjointed narrative structure. It has many sections without the connective tissue. It's a tough watch especially for a three hour movie. It's exhilarating for a long time but it gets tiring by the end. The sad emptiness infects the viewing experience. The lifestyle is thoroughly modern celebrity world. The thrill disapates. Its iconic nature deserves extra points, but this is strictly for film fans.

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La Dolce Cinema

Author: Jhcook107 from United States
15 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like Ben-Hur, Fellini's La Dolce Vita is a Roman Epic. So much to take in that one viewing is not enough. The satirical beautiful scenes flow from one to another all while looking through the eyes of a charismatic protagonist, Marcello. Although Marcello doesn't have a center, he tries to root himself in many different areas a lot like Travis Bickle. The film is effortless set free to encounter all types of characters and mindsets throughout Rome and that is one of the reasons why it is such a great realistic metaphor for life. The thematic messages that Fellini illustrates can be applied to not only 60's aristocratic Italy,but also to today. The lately relevant term Yolo, encompasses the false sense of a sweet life in the film when morals and ethical codes are ditched to accommodate the use of any one of the seven deadly sins. Of course there are exceptions, but I believe this film has the ability to make its viewers reflect not only on their lives, but the lives of others around them.

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Absolutely fantastic

Author: allison_c33 from Canada
20 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had heard about this movie before but never actually saw it until I took an Italian Cinema course at my University. All I have to say is that Fellini is a genius. His work will stand the test of time. After watching the film in my course I just had to go out and buy it. There are so many things that you can miss from only watching it once. You have to watch it many times to be able to pick up on small details that can get overlooked when watching it for the first time. Some people may be discouraged to watch such a long film (it's over 3 hrs) but if you truly appreciate art then this is definitely worth seeing. Marcello Mastroianni completely embodies his character and leaves you wondering "What is the Sweet Life". Obviously "The Sweet Life" is a metaphor and is symbolic. It is definitely not what Marcello's life is in the film but that's the point. Go see it and enjoy it for it's artistic value.

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As resonant now as then, Fellini's brilliant 1960 masterpiece about our vacuous, bourgeois preoccupation with sex, money, religion and family values.

Author: TheVid from Colorado Springs, CO
16 August 2002

This is the Fellini film that catapulted him to international fame at the beginning of the 60's, and rightly so. While the notoriety and shock value have diminished, the film is just as sensational now as when it appeared, and features timeless imagery that has become the stuff of cinematic legend. A movie filled with extraordinary characters and set pieces, and capped by a jazzy, memorable music score by longtime Fellini collaborator, composer Nino Rota. One of those rare, brilliant movies that should never be underestimated.

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"Artsy" fun

Author: m67165
2 September 2001

Do not get the wrong idea: this movie is not only "artsy", but quite sad at times. But I saw it again recently, and found the end of it very uplifting this time around. I guess that helps to explain its status as a classic: You can go back to it from time to time, and find new beauty.

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A seminal film of the era

Author: Peter A. Lake from Marblehead, MA
6 August 2001

One of the most talked-about, argued-over, influential films of its time.

A film about the emergence of post-war Europe from its devastation and ennui into the modern era of freedom and personal fulfillment but with a slap at capitalist decadence. Foretold the whole theme and tone of the 60's and 70's free love and hedonism in the USA and Europe.

Features three of the most attractive European stars of the time, great cinematography and, of course, direction par excellance. Best seen on a big screen but a must-see in any format.

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A Life-Altering Experience

Author: David Ehrenstein ( from Los Angeles, Ca.
28 April 2001

There are good films, great films, and just plain enjoyable films. But for me "La Dolce Vita" belongs in that very special class of cinematic experience that I don't merely wish to be "around" but be "in". I was in high school when it was first released in the U.S. as a "roadshow" item at the Henry Miller's Theater in New York -- then a "legit" house that featured only live plays and musicals. It was clear from the very beginning (the arrival of the statue of Christ by helicopter) that "La Dolce Vita" was a film unlike any other. It ended neo-realism, made Fellini a star -- and made film directors as a class stars, not just "names" like Hitchcock and DeMille. It's vision of a world run by publicity and "scandal" is more timely today than ever. And it's as hard-edged as any of the films to which it should be appropriately compared: "His Girl Friday," "The Half-Naked Truth," "Ace in the Hole," and "Sweet Smell of Success." There are so many memorable scenes it's hard to pick and choose, but my favorite is the Bassano di Sutri sequence with Nico among the aristocrats. This isn't an easy film. It requires historical perspective to properly appreciate it. And considerably knowledge of the period in which its set. But one must get one's education somehow. And "La Dolce Vita" is the best place to start.

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