|Index||6 reviews in total|
In this unlikely love triangle, set in 19th century Italy, `The Beauty and
the Beast' is being turned upside down and inside out and then some:
Giorgio, an army officer and the very image of male beauty, is being
transferred away form his (married) lover Clara and sent to a small
somewhere in Piemont. There - initially much to his horror Fosca, the
grotesquely ugly cousin of his commander, develops an obsessive love for
him. He suffers her passionate and demanding displays of affection out of
pity and concern for her health (she is gravely ill), but becomes more and
more fascinated by her until the dramatic finale
Do not miss this most unusual love story, as twisted as it may sound. Valeria d'Obici, who deservedly won a price for her portrayal of Fosca, is as alarming as she is touching. Buy the video, read the book, go see the musical!
This is one of the few movies that was recommended to me as absolutely brilliant, that really is. If you give this movie a low note than you really missed the point. You could describe Fosca as manipulative, but what if it is really serious, that she gets ill when the love she is sure of isn't answered. But what would you do when you are sure that the other one loves you, and is 'only' rejected by the fact that you are ugly. Wouldn't you fight for it. At least I think it is better to fight for it that die in bitterness. And it reminds me of the fact how I, as a man, react at first sight completely on the physical ugliness of Fosca and don't look further at the person she is or might be. This movie confronts me with very solemn questions about respect, trust, feeling manipulated and so on. How do I now if someone manipulates me or is just trying everything to make contact? What I think to be the most outstanding feature in this movie is that Ettore Scola made it absolutely believable that Giorgio falls in love with Fosca.
Ettore Scola's masterful rendering of this epic of the heart deserves a much wider audience. It is a worthy successor to the risorgimento classics such as Vischonti's Senso and Il Gattopardo, as well as Rosselini's Vanina,Vanini. The 19th century is indeed a fruitful source for Italian filmmakers. The period settings and trappings are beautifully realized here, but the story is timeless and could occur in any period. What is so intriguing in this story is that the hero becomes trapped in a claustrophobic situation in which he finds himself the vigorously pursued object of desire and he is quite powerless to extricate himself from the alarming circumstances. Handsome and callow Giorgio (Giraudeau) is frustrated by his inability to visit his charming but light-minded married mistress (Antonelli) and falls prey to the dangerous passion of enamored Fosca (D'Obici), the ugly and sickly daughter of his stern commander (Girotti). The resulting anguish and ensuing tragedy this unlikely pair undergoes make them both understandable, pitiful and immensely sympathetic to viewers. Bernard Giraudeau's stellar performance will captivate and leave a lasting impression. Not to be missed.
A passion between a handsome dashing officer and an ugly woman...This
may have lead to a mawkish melodrama ;but Scola was a director to be
reckoned with .
Fosca is an outcast :although she lives in a good milieu,there is no future for her:in those times,the only thing a woman had was her beauty and her only opportunity was marriage;when one is so devoid of appeal,it's a blind alley.
Scola always turned his attention to the outcasts :"Brutti Sporchi E Cattivi " is a prominent example;in " Una Giornata Particolare",arguably his masterpiece ,he showed two victims of the fascist feast of virility ,a gay and a submissive housewife taking a rebel stand and making love .
Like the two heroes of 'Giornata" (1977),Giorgo and Fosca are worlds apart;he is a brilliant attractive officer with good prospects and a sexy lover (Played by Laura Antonelli,Italian sex symbol of the seventies,who recently died in poverty ).Although he seems a very happy man (one of the first scenes in the country with Fosca),he knows military life leads to nowhere :it becomes an unbearable routine:the claustrophobic atmosphere of the officers ' diners reminds the viewer of Valerio Zurlini's metaphoric work " Il Deserto Dei Tartari "(from Dino Buzzati's novel) .
The nineteenth century was,par excellence,the romantic century;Giorgio could not live a true passion with his mistress,a married woman who is older than him;a defiant young man,little by little,he feels attracted by this woman who's dying of love for him. A love condemned by the medical officer -who talks about a strange sickness-and by the military hierarchy ;when your own world is against you,it really becomes a "Passione D'Amor".
The last scene and the midget's lines are the key to the movie:such a story is incredible :had it been the other way about,that is to say the gorgeous girl falling in love with an ugly man(like me) ,I would believe.But "La Belle Et La Bete" in reverse ,it's absolutely impossible (considering male so called psychology?)
The sadly missed Bernard Giraudeau was one of the best French actors of the era ,recalling sometimes Gerard Philipe;under her heavy make up,Valeria d'Obici makes us feel for her tragedy;good support by Trintignant,Blier and Girotti.
All in all ,it's that same strange sickness which leads to destruction and to death that we feel in these two movies taking place in a military atmosphere ,"Il Deserto Dei Tartari" and "Passione D'Amore"
A clever and bizarre angle to "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". At times you think this is campy and over the top, but the underlying poetic soul comes across strong and believable thanks to the performances of the two leads. One worth tracking down.
This film, based on the book by Pascal Laime' -La Dentelliere- is an acclaimed film of excellent cinematography and costly Italian language. Set in a "scholastic" 19th Century, Balzac-style set, it portraits the story of a mad love story: a man and a woman. There is an infamous line at this shadowy-Mussolinni strike which reads: "She does not smell like tomatoes." Sage perfumery of this Italian masterpiece, Scola is a director of the stature of Mussolinni: his cake will jump in your strawberries and if you let this director he will cream your olives as a Superman. Remember Nietzsche? This one will scare the HELL out of YOU: don't forget to visit Mussolinni's cake next to the Colisseum in Rome, across the Via Appia. This movie will wipe your Pampers inside-out and outside-in, it will make you cry out of Romantic joy! If you liked Ulysses, you will wipe it good with these strawberries until the end of the roll. Enjoy!
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