An emotionally draining yet rewarding film. Kind of Bergman's own "The Snake Pit" w/ Rossellini dropping her in the midst of a personal hell. On the surface, the story is completely over the top melodrama that only Sirk could best, but shining through it is Bergman w/ one of her best and most nuanced performances. Just don't expect to come out of this one smiling. A real downer arthouse flick. 4 stars
CINEMA, 35mm _ Rossellini is a master to capture the right emotion, to find the right distance. This film combines some of his favourite patterns : the couple that can't communicate anymore, the child tempted by death, religion, and the great Ingrid Bergman... And of course a strong combination of work of fiction and neorealism. This here is never spectacular but look twice : the directing is as precise as can be.
Look for the story beneath the story. Or the story looking out of the story. Namely, look into Ingrid Bergman's eyes. The eyes of a trapped woman in her uncommon purity. Then there is the city. A new city. An oppressive and drab fortification, its poor penned up in slums. Glowering factories. The movie at the surface, the didactic melodrama, is a bit much. But the beauty and grace shine stridently through.
This is the strangest of the Rossellini/Bergman collaborations and perhaps the easiest to dismiss due to what seems like an awkward moral didacticism. It's more than its (purposefully) obnoxious surface critique of post-war Italy. It's a great film about saintly hysteria.
Rossellini, what can I say? This movie is so in-your-face, complete with the excessive crying and grating sentimentality. It's hard to relate with something so blunt. There is a total lack of nuance in this one. Neverthelessl, a decent film with an effective conclusion. 3/5
Hoy vi la película. Para ser honesto, me quedo con "Alemania año cero" y "Francisco juglar de Dios". Europa 51, la encontré excesivamente melodramatica (una mezcla de Douglas Sirk con Ken Loach). A pesar de algunas secuencias soberbias, el film en cuestión no me conmovió.
Some consider the bourgeois woman Irene to be a secular saint. Deleuze describes her as "a mummy radiating tenderness." But, as she herself explains, "Love for others springs from the hate I feel for myself." This isn't a glib Italian sermon on Humanism, nor mystical union--she isn't a symbol or sign, but a unique artistic creation born from catharsis and guilt into one doomed to perform actions of love and respect.
I keep thinking Jeanne d'Arc meets Pickpocket - and that's the problem with archetypes right there. Rossellinis pursuit of more abstract aspects of social critique becomes clearer with this film, recursively, for Germania Anno Zero too. Still, something a tad too naive not to steal a smile keeps flimmering in the images.