In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.
Marcello is in the compartment of an Italian train, facing forward when the mineral water of the woman seated across from him starts to fall toward him. He catches the bottle and makes eye contact and follows her when she leaves the compartment. For a few moments she finds him attractive too. Then suddenly she gets off the train and starts walking through a field. Marcello follows her, loses her, finds himself in a large hotel surrounded by women. A feminist conference is taking place and he tries to escape.Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
I am a great fan of early Fellini, and as late as Amarcord I still find much to admire. After that, though, there seems to me to be an inexorable decline in originality. By the time we get to this film the decline is definitely in evidence throughout. Freshness has given way to trademark, vitality to predictability. Mastroianni is still there, as cool and enigmatic as ever, and some of the cinematography remains dazzling. But an air of staleness hangs over the whole film, which apart from its other defects is far too long. Fellini fanatics admire it, that much is obvious, and good luck to them. But most simple admirers will pass it by. It is worth adding that in the troubled and deeply unequal world we live in, Fellini's later obsession with the idle rich is looking increasingly frivolous. But maybe that's just me.
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