La Dolce Vita

(Italy 1960)

What can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said about one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time? I loved it and I hated it at the same time.

I absolutely loved how beautifully it was filmed: the Italian landscape, the Roman street scenes, the elegant midcentury interiors, the cars and clothes and even hairdos. If nothing else, La Dolce Vita is a stunningly beautiful time capsule. Seeing Nico in action was also a treat—I have never seen her act anywhere else. I loved the character who was so obviously Marilyn Monroe. La Dolce Vita illustrates what a cool time the brink of the Sixties must have been.

What drove me crazy was the split up meandering “episodes” that did not seem cohesive or move quickly enough for my postmodern American sensibilities. And let’s be honest: three hours is a godawful length of time to sit through anything. However, the bad stuff is minor, and the good far outweighs it. I (think I) understand what Fellini was doing here, and I love it for that.

(Gene Siskel Film Center) A- (as if my little grade counts for anything)