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 acquired this movie quite a few years a go and only just had my first viewing and was frankly astonished at Sophia's performance. It is a multi-layered rich performance: her anger at men, her absolute devotion to her daughter, the sadness and acceptance at being a widow of a passionless marriage to a much older man, her confusion at awakening feelings of sensuality, her politicization. The last 30 minutes of this movie are heartbreaking, her horror, helplessness and numbness at what has happened to her daughter are some of the most powerful moments I have seen on film. A well deserved Oscar and Sophia, you are right up there with the gifted actors of the past century! 10 out of 10.
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