6/10 A movie about women and love but also nihilism - it's Antonioni after all. Brilliant for its portrayal of the kind of passive-aggressive cruelty that insecure women can inflict on other women. Everything about the movie stuns with near-perfection: the intelligence of the dialogue, the camera movement inside rooms, and the beauty of the women. But somehow something is missing here, perhaps too restrained a film.
★★★½ / 35mm/ A coarse drama of disenchanted professionals flailing away in their careers and love. Antonioni develops his familiar themes of emotional distress in a series of stark moments, the pointless excursion to the beach, the bickering social hour, the dinner turned explosive, the way a couple casually returns to its poisonous routines. Wonderfully played by Drago, Cortese and Ferzetti.
Masterful and extremely elegant in its shots early Antonioni. The haute-bourgeoisie attempts to bridge the gap with its the lower middle class but meets its own demons of female emancipation. The modern woman's vacillation between traditional role-expectations and autonomy is conveyed with understated detail and could not find a better vehicle than the ethereal Rossi Drago. A master of the cinema of the gaze! Superb!
Astonished to discover a chatty Antonioni only to find it cohesive with his other works along almost Cioranesque views that furibund productive inebriety hides the obsessive fear to face oneself. Producing words, art, business plans, compulsive flirt to hush resonant emptiness beneath. But every thorough analysis is a profanation and lifelessness' doorstep, (self-)knowledge comes at a bitter price, accepted illusions
I think far too much is made of Antonioni's supposed break w/ neorealism. Le amiche, particularly, seem like a movie very much engaged in a dialogue w/ Rossellini and early Visconti. Movies primarily focusing on the upper classes cannot rightfully be considered films about class? Absurd. What distinguishes Antonioni, even early on: the idea of choreography married to mise-en-scène, and eerily effective dispassion.
“You’re going to see a miracle tonight.” “What kind of miracle?” “We’re going to have a good time.” Sweeter, more wistful, and much more plotful than Antonioni's later, better-known ice-capades, Le Amiche and its hearts in hibernation are no less desperate, equivocal or doomed.