Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

IMDB plot summary: A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.
Directed by Federico Fellini. Starring Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi, and Dorian Gray.

(Spoilers ahead for this, as well as some spoilers for La Strada and Jean de Florette.)

This was recommended to me based on my love for La Strada, which I watched for the first time a year or two ago. While this one isn't *quite* as heartbreaking as that one, it's pretty darn close. The final 15 minutes or so was so tough to watch, because I just knew how it was all inevitably going to end. (In fact, at one point in those 15 minutes I paused the movie to get a drink of water, and when I came back, I wandered all over the Internet because I didn't want to have to watch the ending.) I wasn't quite as engaged throughout the whole movie as I was with La Strada, but Giulietta Masina is unbelievably charming and likeable as Cabiria. As I write this review, it occurs to me that I had a very similar reaction to watching Jean de Florette earlier this year -- both have a character I desperately cheered for and whose downfall left me a little broken.

Overall, this is one of those movies that I'm definitely glad I watched but would probably not watch again any time soon, though I am curious to see how the emotional impact of the ending would go if I knew right from the beginning where it was headed.

4 stars.

Flickchart: #496 out of 2245, below Four Lions and above Widow's Peak.

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