Sunday, May 13, 2012

La Strada (The Road) (1954)

Director: Federico Fellini. Cast: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart. 108 min. Rated PG. Italy. Drama.

The abstract strangeness of 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita prevented me from experimenting more in Fellini territory and watching such a classic for so long. But how wrong I was. La Strada is a beautiful, heartbreaking story of pure innocence struggling in brutal poverty. The movie pivots on Masina (Fellini's wife) as Gelsomina, the semi-retarded clown in a Chaplinesque performance, who jumps on every opportunity to enjoy life, until she's exposed to frank violence, and goes mad. Even Quinn as the cruel strongman is good at heart, but a victim of circumstance. A film to be watched many times.

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