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332 Ratings

I Knew Her Well

Io la conoscevo bene

Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli
Italy, West Germany, 1965
Drama, Comedy


Following the gorgeous, seemingly liberated Adriana as she chases her dreams, I Knew Her Well is at once a delightful immersion in Italy’s popular music and style of the ’60s and a biting critique of its sexual politics and culture of celebrity; by turns funny, tragic, and altogether jaw-dropping.

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I Knew Her Well Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli
The great Ettore Scola collaborated on the script, which is full of Godardian insights into the ways that cultural experience affect personal identity. Antonio Pietrangeli’s direction is a little modish, indulging in flashy stylistic flourishes clearly inspired by the Nouvelle Vague; in hindsight, though, the stylization makes sense, as it reflects Adriana’s enthrallment to the zeitgeist.
September 22, 2017
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One of the greatest Italian films for a great period of Italian films, I Knew Her Well is also an ideal introduction to the cinema of Antonio Pietrangeli, located somewhere at the intersection of neorealism, commedia all-italiana and modern all’Antonioni.
March 04, 2016
Sandrelli was all of 19 years old in 1965, and has a slightly unformed quality here that makes Adriana a poignant figure even when her intentions and motives are hard to pin down. Her performance fits beautifully within Pietrangeli’s offbeat structure, which deliberately downplays moments of significance. No scene seems explicitly designed to convey information; anything we learn about Adriana emerges almost incidentally.
February 27, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • dionysus67's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    Dazzling venture into the glittering and shallow morals of Italian showbiz and haute bourgeoisie, as Adriana (Sandrelli more beautiful than ever) engages in a merry-go-round implementation of the imperative to be happy. Alas! Superficiality turns into its opposite (as in Risi's 'Il Sorpasso') and the imminent tragedy leaves behind a world that Pietrangeli's diamond camera has rendered translucent and vacant of life.

  • Ethan's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    Stefania Sandrelli delivers a stellar performance as the beautiful and tragic woman at the center of this story who is just trying to make it in a society that only wants to use and abuse her and is incapable of seeing the people that are good for her. A very underrated masterpiece of Italian cinema.

  • Jason's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    One of these revelations from the Criterion roster (one of the rare masterpieces they put out about which I knew nothing beforehand). The form is entirely sui generis; the approach is radically episodic (and I mean radically) and formally exploratory. This is a movie that will go where it damn well pleases and conduct itself how it sees fit. The title serves the epistemological indictment the film itself mobilizes.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    I've got your great beauty right here. Loses perhaps a fraction of its fifth star for its finale, though it's hard to imagine it ending any other way. A film that takes surfaces seriously, finding and floodlighting the fissure between manic pleasure and panicked desperation with sympathetic but unsparing precision, Pietrangeli's masterpiece may as well be the missing link between La Dolce Vita and Toby Dammit.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    A first-class screenplay cowritten by Pietrangeli, Maccari and Ettore Scola. The first scene of the movie says it all: a long travelling showing us a beach of sand filled with garbage stops in front of the superb half-naked body of Stefania Sandrelli. She's a pearl born from the turd. She'll try to survive in the corrupted world of Italian show-business without being infected. Masterpiece.

  • 張大智's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    My kind of film. Fun and incredibly sad. The narrative is intimate, felt and balanced; the photography is elegant but never cumbersome; and the supporting cast does a beautiful job, which thanks to Pietrangeli's direction never steals the attention from Sandrelli, who is at the height of her talents in this film. Highly recommended to Antonioni fans, and soundtrack lovers! 5 stars more than well deserved for this one

  • polkasan's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    Beautiful italian gem. Loved it. Gorgeous cinematography, incredible soundtrack of italian pop songs. And a must-see for all Stefania Sandrelli fans.

  • NICOLE86's rating of the film I Knew Her Well

    Adriana is a broken flawed character that I just wanted to hug. This film really does showcase loneliness and just wanting to find a place in a shallow society that only wants you for your looks until you aren't the flavor of the week anymore.

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