Mariangela Melato, star of Swept Away, gives one of the best performances of her career as a zany free spirit who expects the world to take care of her. The title character comes from a disintegrating middle class family headed by mother Delphine Seyrig and sister Aurore Clément.
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Opening in an austere, bourgeois world with mournful music and Gordon Willis lighting, you might think Monicelli pulled a fast one and made a straight drama. But then the younger generation invades, and comedy flowers with a melancholy undertow. This is a series of lives all united by an absence. Best: it rekindles Monicelli's love of people who'll never have their lives together. Nice digs at the intelligentsia too.
Mario Monicelli directed. Nino Rota did the score. Tonino Guerra cowrote the script based on a Natalia Ginzburg novel. And it's quite bad. Also contains my pick for the most irritating character in the history of narrative film.