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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
it's like the story of an extra from la dolce vita! this could be a perfect film if it were less disjointed (though i get what they were going for, maybe i'm just used to a more linear joan crawford type of rags-to-riches-to-rags movie) and knew itself a little better but really just that it exists and is at all well-executed is enough to be great and very worthwhile & enjoyable
Admirable work.The film,a hidden italian gem about a heroine tryin' to struggle in the dirty world of fashion and showbiz.Sandrelli proves here her indefinite talent in one of her best performances.Truthful,depressing and full of excellent images this film deserves a little bit more of attention.