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La Dolce Vita More at IMDbPro »La dolce vita (original title)

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

La Dolce Vita - why it reigns supreme

Author: thechildrenscrusade from United States
24 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To even begin to speak of La Dolce Vita is a daunting task in and of itself. I found that days after viewing it I was left with a sense of awe that never once went away. Some might complain that it is long, or confusing, with no definite answers - but those who say that would probably not take the time to read these comments. For those of you actually reading this, you know better then to cast aside a work of art for such petty reasons. La Dolce Vita does not hand anything to you "on a silver platter" you do have to think for yourself, but the journey to that state of enlightenment is an awesome and supreme one.

I always found the title of La Dolce Vita fitting, certainly, but ironic, in the utmost effective way possible. Translated, it means "The Sweet Life" and that is exactly what Marcello's character is supposedly mixed up in, but the sweet life is not necessarily a fulfilling one. On the other hand, it is a shallow, superficial one, perhaps easier at times, as one tries to avoid the truths, troubles, and vicissitudes of life - but in the end, one finds that reality is inescapable.

Marcello is a "semi-sleazy gossip journalist" right in the middle of living the so-called "sweet life" and we follow him on many escapades with various friends and people as what slowly culminates in the final scene on the beach, where in a sense, all is revealed.

Breathlessly beautiful, well-scripted, superbly shot, and just phenomenal in every aspect of the word La Dolce Vita "dazzles and amazes." Without giving away any spoilers, I just wish I could stress the absolute beauty, tragedy, and majesty in this amazing film. La Dolce Vita is art at its finest.

Throughout the entire movie I was in awe of each scene, each shot, each utterance - and then when everything builds up, as Marcello is faced with his final decision, we too, as the audience, realize that we have been where he is before, and perhaps we are still there today. We too must decide do we want to live La Dolce Vita or can we "escape?"

"Salvation doesn't lie within four walls," but beauty, entertainment, and magnificence do lie in La Dolce Vita. Fellini at his finest, viewers - prepare to be amazed!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unorthodox but beautiful

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
27 August 2015

Chronicles a week in the life of philandering journalist Rubini, who devotes his entire existence to hedonistic pleasure.

Federico Fellini offers a wonderful dream like film with stunning visuals, it may not be appreciated by the general film buff or the modern movie goer. Its structure is unorthodox, however, it was and still is highly influential. Of course the main reason to watch this is for the famous scene - where Sylvia (Anita Eckberg) gets wet in the Trevi fountain.

La Dolce Vita also coined the word 'paparazzi' and a film can rarely can boast such a lasting impact on the world.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just Marcello Mastroianni...

Author: Thanos Alfie from Greece
17 March 2015

"La dolce vita" is a drama movie in which we watch a series of stories in just a week of the life of a paparazzi journalist who lives in Rome and he just wants to find his true place in the world. We also watch him trying to become a successful writer but he has some difficulties no this which he has to surpass in order to succeed on this.

I liked this movie because of the plot in which for one more time the direction was the best from Federico Fellini and I can only compare this direction with the direction of 8 ½. In which I believe the direction of Federico Fellini was equally good. I also liked this movie because of the great interpretation of Marcello Mastroianni who played as Marcello Rubini and he was simply outstanding for one more time as I expected from him to be. Another interpretation that I liked was the beautiful's Anita Ekberg's who played as Sylvia.

Finally I have to say that "La dolce vita" is maybe a different kind of movie from this that you are used to watch but it is really worth seeing. If you liked the 8 ½ movie then I am sure that you are going to love this one.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An interesting but overrated film that can get boring at times

Author: jedo_team from Netherlands
4 January 2015

This is a film about seven days worth of the adventure of a celebrity journalist played by Marcello Mastroianni, mostly about him chasing the tails of various women, but there is a lot more to it than that.

This movie is a cynic. It keeps introducing a situation and then showing the somber dirty layer underneath it. The writing is pretty good in how it exposes the dirty drama and shows the contrast between sensations and real suffering. I can see why the church got angry at this film. There is a good bit of religious content in the film and it is treated with equal cynicism, with a whole scene dedicated to showing how a miracle is handled.

The biggest problem is that the story is inflated and certain parts are hard to follow. The movie opens with a Jesus statute being transported to the Vatican. Why? What is the purpose of the scene? Who are these girls the main character is suddenly talking to and why? Never really explained. It has something to do with the religious symbolism of the film but does not feel very obvious or relevant . The fact that the movie covers 7 days is supposed to be meaningful but who is honestly going to notice that? Do you count things like the number of days when you watch a movie, unless someone told you about it in advance? Of course you do not, so it is useless.

The movie is under three hours but feels more like 30 hours. Some conversations seem to go nowhere. There is a scene that drags on forever in which a bunch of people are exploring a haunted house. There are all these random people that start appearing towards the end. In combination with the style of dialogue, this movie can feel like a drag, especially towards the end.

The dialogue has a slight poetic color to it, and as a result, there are sentences that will fly past the average viewer. But most of it is interesting and grabs attention.

Acting is of mixed quality. For one, it has a specific sterile style to fit the aforementioned stylized dialogue and takes some time getting used to. At times it feels like two actors are having an abstract conversation on an avant-garde stage. Another thing is that, while most actors are good, some are not. Anita Ekberg playing a busty American actress made a mess of fakeness out of her role, with her dubbing in particular being very poor. The spoken dialogue in general is badly lip-synced.

The movie is very Italian in its visuals. The actors are smoking as they are drinking and wearing sunglasses that look like they were the pinnacle of fashion of the time in which the movie was made.

The cinematography is good when it comes to art, to transferring a message to the viewer, but can be quite bad when it comes to the technical aspects with a few glaringly obvious annoyances.

There is this one scene in particular where two actors are standing in front of what is clearly a blurry movie screen rather than a real background. They speak something but their dialogue is poorly lip-synced. There is a very obvious glimmering wire attached the hat of an actress, which then gets pulled and the hat flies off simulating wind.

Mind you, this is a movie that had enough money to shoot scenes with the helicopter carrying a big statue from above, a scene that was not even that important, but apparently could neither film on location nor find an alternative location that could work.

In the past filming of people against a film background was common when shooting inside vehicles but in this movie it is overused and especially obvious. Movies usually attempt to hide the blemishes, for example by only showing the scene for a short time. In La Dolce Vita, the camera always takes its sweet time.

La Dolce Vita is a curious bag of interesting scenes but also scenes that are overstretched, with over-the-top dialogue and technical issues. Nonetheless, La Dolce Vita has impact and is worth watching just for that.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Modern Italian Film

Author: gavin6942 from United States
10 November 2014

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) living in Rome.

So, this represents the modern Italy and the loss of traditional morality, as well as a stunning critique of fame and celebrity (while ironically launching Fellini to international fame and celebrity).

Not to say this is not a great film, because it is, but unlike certain critics (e.g. Roger Ebert) it seems out of place on anyone's list of top ten films of all time. Its influence may have been strong but seems to have waned over the years, and even the critique is no longer as potent. Most likely the Italians felt the film far more profoundly than Americans did (and do), given how many could still firmly recall Mussolini and his war criminal successor Pietro Badoglio.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This is not about rot and decay in a whole society, just in a single man—who fortunately isn't Fellini.

Author: felixoteiza from Canada
8 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A rather entertaining film, deserving at least 7 pts. but not one for everyone--just a question of taste, mind you. You may not like it and that's OK. Concerning the reviews, I noticed that verdicts about it span an entire spectrum, from "utter crap" to "ageless masterpiece", which leaves you free to say your own without fear of ridicule. Now, the problem I saw with most reviewers is that they ignore how artistic minds work, specially those of fiction writers. They seem to think that characters come out of the writer's mind as full fledged, physical entities, and not as the purely abstract creations of obvious intrinsic plasticity they are. They are NOT people, people, they are just mental creations; they don't dwell in the real world but in some no-man's land in the author's head and, sometimes, in our collective subconscious mind. The process of creating a character is very subjective so you can't just take the creator word about his, her, intentions POV, when creating it. All you can do is to interpret. Failure to do so has thrown many reviewers off the scent. They assume that Fellini was portraying his own, younger self I Marcello--he may have also believed so--when what Marcello really represents is his darkest fears of not being the great filmmaker he wanted to be, but just a bag full of hot air, a phony, an artistic and spiritual zero. When you see things under this light everything becomes clear and you may respond to the questions that many have put forward and couldn't answer.

Hints of Marcello's spiritual hollowness are all over. He's wired to answer only to the base, the corrupt, the ordinary. Only one reviewer I read seems to have gotten this right: most of what we see in LDV is through his eyes, the decay, the hopelessness, the emptiness. The lights of Rome, the glitter of Via Veneto, are able to conceal somewhat his insignificance & give him a certain polish but as soon as he leaves them behind he finds once again the sad wasteland of his inner self, the emptiness of his soul, even more evident under the lights of dawn. People focus on inane symbols while forgetting the most important ones, women for ex., as muses for the artist. Marcello irresistibly gravitates towards the leftovers: whorish drifters—-Maddalena-—uber dependent depressives--Emma--ephemeral airheads—Sylvia—while having no time for the good ones, for the jovial, active—Fanny--the fresh and new—Paola. Emma put it well in just so many words: "you ruin everything". Another hint Fellini gives us is that of Fanny preferring his old dad to him as escort for a romantic night--what worse insult can be inflicted to a young man?--and then both rejecting him because they know who he is.

Like Ulysses and Capt. Willard, Marcello seems to have engaged in a crucial journey, but all similarities end there, because the two first are proactive forces for good. Ulysses goes into his metaphorical journey opening his way into the purity of his inner self, represented by Penelope, while Willard goes to confront the evil lurking in his own and when he finds it, instead of succumbing to it he destroys it. Both journeys have positive heroes and that's maybe why both are unanimous classics while LDV isn't so widely accepted. Because we can't relate to Marcello like we do to the others; he is not only too passive, too indolent, but even worse, responsive only to rot and decay. During the final "orgy" this is made obvious: rejected by everyone he can only interact--with verbal and physical abuse--with the weakest, sickest member of the pack. It's evident that what Fellini wanted to give us here is not a soul--searching epic, like AN or the Odyssey, but the peeling off of the layers of an empty, meaningless, soul. Marcello didn't make a spiritual journey at all; he just stood there while an invisible wind was taking the wrappings of his soul off until leaving him naked, exposed in his spiritual nothingness. That he couldn't understand Paola is not a bad thing but a good one. Paola will remain forever inaccessible to him, his sweet, smile untouched by the rot Emma knew he could bring to everything he approached.

As space short, I resume. Steiner? Another phony. He had to know well of Marcelo's utter insignificance, he got to read through his empty words about looking for meaning in life--as there's absolutely no hint that he's doing such a thing, only his words--yet he chose instead to ignore it, keep patting him on the back in exchange for enjoying an easy sycophant. More than tradition, he represents the fear of modernity, specially of traumatic change. The paparazzi? The concrete expression of Marcello spiritual emptiness. The "orgies"? Come on, these are painters, actors, writers, poets, people with fulfilling lives--movies to shoot; plays, poems to write--we can surely forgive them for getting a bit tipsy and acting foolish when meeting friends, relaxing, isn't it? I can't understand the fuss, even for 1960, when the only reprehensible behavior by anyone in social reunions here is that of Marcello. Nadia's striptease? Come on.

BTW, my favorite scene: not that of Trevi, sorry Anita, but the participants' exit at the end of the "orgy", dancing to some tropical tune. Beautiful and very Fellini. 8.0/10.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

La Dolce Vita

Author: sashank_kini-1 from India
15 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie that slinkily escaped my senses twice got caught the third time – La Dolce Vita is a deceptively vague movie that has led in several interpretations by critics, scholars and public. People brink forth in their analysis theories of old versus contemporary, faith versus superstition, loss of innocence, fickleness of love, meaning of life etc. Three different viewings of LDV and I observed it from different perspectives, each constituting a result that made me thump my forehead at the end – I realized that by scrutinizing it too much, I lost the crux of what Fellini wanted to convey - he puts LDV up like a painting and we the viewer's pick out what suits our understanding and interpret it accordingly. Therefore, I stopped analyzing the religious allusions too much.

In the end, my way of understanding LDV is that it is a series of events in the life of a person, a journalist/paparazzi who usually take an apathetic interest in the life of their subjects (when Steiner's wife arrives, they shamelessly begin photographing her without caring two hoots about her agony) and are always on the periphery of any event no matter how beneficial it is for their subjects (Marcello, in spite of creating much publicity for celebrities, is treated like an inferior by many, with some refusing to acknowledge his presence), who isn't able to bring a semblance to his own life as he sees it drifting away hopelessly in front of his eyes. I differ slightly from certain opinions which state that everyone around Marcello was vain and artificial; I rather felt that it was Marcello's own perception that everyone around him was superficial because of their extravagance or high-spiritedness.

Marcello is a man who spends almost his entire time at parties and events rather than staying at home, and this is perhaps why he must have developed such an opinion about everybody. The writers, poets, painters, dancers and other artistes may not be actually one-dimensional as Marcello suggests, in fact I feel that since Marcello must be attending parties more than the artistes themselves, he never fully understood them. Party is an occasion where people either i) discuss politics and current events ii) their own achievements iii) other people and their achievements iv) some highfalutin matter or v) gossip. People don't reveal their true selves in a public space and since Marcello did not get enough private space, he assumed everyone around him to be shallow. Another common thing at parties is that people behave differently, in an overtly excited manner, and try to obscure their true feelings behind masks; everyone acts like 'cool' teenagers and don't mind losing their self-esteem a bit in the process ( that's why they're ready to gossip, strip and trip). It doesn't mean they are crazy always- and that is what Marcello probably couldn't comprehend. We begin envying and deprecating those around us if we aren't satisfied with ourselves- I think it's got something to do with displacement in psychology. La Dolce Vita displaces Marcello from the sweet life, and this unearned satisfaction is drives him to the edge.

I could empathize with Marcello because I too keep experiencing similar feelings of confusion, dissatisfaction and irritability. This affects my work, my family and social life and my writings; I am not able to write a single word of a play I'm currently writing the days I feel such discomfort. I become bored during conversations and feel the skin around my face feeling pale and disgusted and I extricate myself immediately to retreat into a corner. I haven't read much about Fellini but I got to know he suffered from depression, and this is the sole reason why La Dolce Vita is such a success. Only a depressed genius could pen the script with such astonishing clarity; had this been written by an ordinary genius or scriptwriter, he would've made this into a movie. La Dolce Vita isn't a movie and doesn't contain the inherent phoniness of most films – it is astoundingly real, to the point that it looks like a documentary. Take, for example, Revolutionary Road and compare it with La Dolce Vita; both tackle discontentment but the former doesn't seem like the director/writer's own story but rather a poignant tale of two characters, while La Dolce Vita could very easily be associated or substituted with Fellini's own outlook of life.

Coming to LDV as a film, at last, I find it surprising it became a profitable venture in spite of its abstract narrative and despondent theme. As we are given insight into Marcello's life, love and work – his stagnant engagement with Emma, his one-night stands and romances, his burgeoning acquaintances, his father's arrival and his search for the center, we find characters – male and female, both straight and gay, transsexuals and bisexuals – flitting in and out of his life. Out of all the girls he meets and gets to adore, kiss, love and sleep with, the perfect choice to me would be one whom he had slept with but was now simply a great friend and an effervescent soul – Fanny. It's no surprise his father extols her when the three share the space at a club; Fanny also remarks how Marcello is just like his father.

The climax is a zinger and it helps in jotting the fragments together. If one remembers, an actor asks Marcello at the last party what he would make him if he had a million dollars. And later lands a fish that must be worth a 'million dollars' as said by the fisherman. An actress throws in whether they can buy it but another says that they can't afford it. This implies that all of them will soon turn into monsters and the girl later implies loss of innocence. But I find it too bitter a catharsis and stand by my interpretation of this classic.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An true classic!

Author: dalldorfw from United States
9 June 2012

While covering the arrival of a Hollywood actress in Rome, a renowned gossip-columnist (Mastroianni) grows weary of his glamorous yet shallow lifestyle. This film follows him through the course of a single week as he struggles to find some meaning buried beneath an avalanche of elaborate, but vapid parties and empty sex. One of Fellini's most acclaimed films and for a good reason; it's a hard hitting tragic-comic satire that runs for three hours yet is devoid of tedium. It also introduced the term "Paparazzi" to the Italian/English language. Trivia: Pier Paolo Passolini worked as an uncredited co-writer!


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