Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
Tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, this is a collection of 6 Neapolitan episodes : a clown exploited by a gangster ; an inconstant pizza seller (Sofia) losing ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Eduardo De Filippo
Cesira is a beautiful widow and a successful grocery store owner in Rome. WWII is raging, and she fears for her beloved daughter, 13-year-old Rosetta, amid the daily bombings. They travel to the village where Cesira was born, where Cesira believes they will be safer. There, they are happy even as food dwindles. A young intellectual, Michele, falls in love with Cesira, who is too consumed with the well-being of her daughter and their survival to return his timid advances. As the allies advance, Cesira decides to return to Rome - and encounter the horrors of war at last.Written by
I confess that this film was showing late one night on TCM and initially the idea of a war film was not an appealing prospect at one o'clock in the morning.
That being said,I realized how much we lose by prejudging film, and actors by their more recent performances. As Sophia Loren was popular before my time, I remember her from fluff and spy movies such as "Arabesque" with Gregory Peck. A forgettable film, at most. Not so for "Two Women".
The performance of her innocent daughter Rosetta, is also marked and memorable. Refugees from the bombing of Rome during World War II, Sophia Loren as Cesira, and her daughter are fleeing the city, come across relatives in the country, and encounter a harrowing fate.
The feel of the film is palpable and stark, the scene and the shadows of the men as they come across these two women in the effigy of a church, is ominous and effective. The expressions and body language of Loren are heart-rending and sorrowful, as we see her realize what has become of her daughter, what has become of their world. The scene I will remember most is where she is finally rescued, her daughter begins to sing, recovering from the attack. Cesira (Loren) turns her face outward, toward the window, ravaged and ruined, yet finding some strength to continue on. We see a multitude of emotions cross her face without uttering one word.
Truly a film not to be missed for Sophia Loren's performance alone. 9/10.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this