This is the first Fellini film I ever saw (and thank heavens I saw it on the big screen); I absolutely FELL IN LOVE with its now-legendary star Giulietta Masina (in the title role of Cabiria). Watching the movie, I wanted to shout to her to "watch out!" and to jump into the screen to take her away from the parasites who wanted to feed on her. So entranced was I by Masina's performance. Telling the surface plot is unnecessary here; the film's substance happens between the lines: Cabiria's emotional depth between the devastations, her perpetual longing for better and, despite it all, her indomitable happiness. It's the story of predators and prey (Cabiria), and it's a picture of the enduring human spirit. Only an actress of transcendent powers could pull off such a task, and Masina manages it beautifully. Look at the IMDb "Awards & Nominations" page for this film: in 1957 Masina won "Best Actress" at Cannes; in 1958 the film won the Oscar for "Best Foreign Language Film;" and in 1959 the film was nominated for a British Academy Award for "Best Film From Any Source." Three of the film's magical moments: 1) the "Hypnotist" scene. 2) After falling asleep atop a cliff where one of those "predators" had taken advantage of her, she awakes and the sea below this cliff is now covered by a misty shroud (you interpret what "being above the clouds" means). And 3) after a final personal devastation, she joins a small troupe of carefree youth in their singing and dancing as they walk the road. Joining them, her dirt-smudged and tear-swollen face regains its radiance and we feel happy that she's smiling again. But the real brilliance of this moment - one of the most affecting in all cinema - is when Cabiria glances briefly INTO THE LENS, smiles and nods AT *US* that she will be alright. Watching this movie that first time I was happy that she was smiling among these young troubadours, but not until she glanced, smiled and nodded directly TO ME did I feel released from my need to rescue and protect her, free to leave the theater and let her go on her own (without me). Personally, no other actress has ever been able to penetrate so completely to my emotional core. Brilliant director, brilliant actress. SEE THIS MOVIE.