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(Review originally written at 5 November 2010)

This movie is being an example of some simplistic but beautiful and effective film-making. It doesn't follow a big story in which a big conflict suddenly arises or something needs to get solved or found but it's simply a movie about a, somewhat elderly British(?) couple, on holiday in Italy, who suddenly start to realize that they have never really loved each other.

It's a movie that works because of how well done and beautifully it all got done. It obviously helps that the movie is being set in Italy and features some of the famous landmarks, in and around Napels. The movie focus a lot on the culture and history, since the movie is seen through the eyes of our two main characters, that are tourists and new to the country. There is always something happening in the movie, even though it really doesn't follow a that complicated or thick storyline. It's a movie that prefers realism and is basically a random slice of life and about marriage, that of course is not always anything romantic or love filled. Suddenly they start to learn more about each other and about themselves, which makes them realize that they are perhaps not meant to be together. Doesn't sound that interesting perhaps but the way the story gets told simply makes this a great one to watch, that also never bores. Granted that it's also a quite short movie.

The movie also works well because the characters in it are being realistic and they interacting convincingly with each other. Both George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman gave some fine performances in this movie and were a convincing screen couple, who's marriage has worn out.

It's also a movie that benefits from the fact that it got done in black & white. For some reason I think this movie would had been way more cheesy had it been shot in full color. Instead now the movie has some real class and beauty to it as well.

Despite that it's a movie set in Italy and also an Italian produced movie, with an Italian title, it's still an mostly English spoken film. At least the two main characters speak Italian throughout. So those who normally won't come near a 'foreign' film can also easily watch this one, if you pick up the right, original, version of it of course.

Simply one fine little, well done, effective movie, by Italian director Roberto Rossellini.

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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