A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Journalist and man-about-town Marcello struggles to find his place in the world, torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domesticity offered by his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer.Written by
During the "Madonna" scene at about 1:04, the amount of tape on the reels of the recorder changes between the wide shots and the close-ups. See more »
By 1965 there'll be total depravity. How squalid everything will be.
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In the original American release, distributed by American International Pictures, the titles open with the AIP logo and appear over a shot of the sky with clouds. In the current release on DVD - and as shown on TCM - the title sequence is over a black background. When originally released, censors in several countries trimmed certain scenes, including the orgy near the end of the film. See more »
I am currently working my way through the IMDb Top 250, and I began with "La Dolce Vita." I understand that the movie is culturally significant. I'm not some boor who only enjoys movies with exploding robots or massive amounts of T&A, nor am I a simpleton who requires straight-forward plots with happy endings. But the fact of the matter is that I found this, Fellini's purported masterpiece, to be utterly dull and non-compelling.
I won't say that the film is without merit, because there were some scenes that kept me dialed in. The desire that Marcello feels for Sylvia is one of those, and the scene where Maddalena asks Marcello to marry her is another. But these are scenes that are mired in between other muddled sequences that seem to drag on forever.
And yes, at 3 hours, this film is mercilessly long. I don't mind long films, and have happily sat through much longer. But this film indulges in the mundane. Shots, sequences, and dialogue that contribute absolutely nothing to the story are lingering and plodding. At times, I found myself having drifted off into a daydream, only to come back and find out that I had missed nothing in the intervening time. This story could be told competently, and in half the running time, if the film had any sense of pace.
Part of my apathy goes toward the general unlikability of Marcello. Especially in this day and age, who cares about those who indulge in the glitz and glamour of the film world? Do we really relate to the Marilyn Monroe expy that is Sylvia? I can't look at Marcello, who vacillates between wanting to be a writer and suddenly declaring himself to be an advertising exec and feel any kinship with him. I fear that in 2015, there are precious few people who understand or even want to know what the 1% do, especially when the educated have a hard time finding the most menial jobs. Fascination with the rich and wealthy may have found a wider audience in 1960, but does not play nearly as well to a 21st century audience.
In all honesty, this movie appears to be one of those films that people love to pretentiously declare their love for, if only to win the admiration of other people who also secretly dislike it, but wish to be admired as "film buffs" themselves. Personally, this particular film buff has no desire to ever see this movie again.
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