An eloquent ending, and the cinematography is great, so is Simone Signoret, but this picture is little too "Doris Day" to really be profound. Mastroianni is at his least interesting here. I almost liked it, though.
A wonderful film featuring a quartet of fantastic performances from Simone Signoret, Sandra Milo, Emmanuelle Riva and Gina Rovere as four former brothel workers attempting to run a restaurant only to find the prejudices of their former lives define them. Scripting is excellent as is the b&w cinematograpy of Armando Nannuzzi. Was not aware of this director previously but worthy of investigation.
How was the popular cinema? A cinema with a keen eye towards the common people and attentive to space, incorporating it in drama with a sensitive camera, fluent, agile in the narrative . The characters are complex, contradictory and sublime in its extreme humanity, in its fall. A cinema that looks after its characters, loving to put them in scene without tricks or any moral and punitive claims.
A bleak drama with complex characters, solid performances and an unexpected care in the direction/photography.
In my opinion, the realist elements are a minority and as a result the film faintly digs up the paradoxes of Italian society at the time, leaving quite unexplored the issues it confronts with.
Side note: the soundtrack is wonderful but extenuating.
An absolutely wonderful film. A great pity that it is not better known. A fantastic cast, director, cinematography, and script - how poignant that one of the screenwriters, the great Ettore Scola, died yesterday.