Very deeply touching, beautifully executed drama. Pasolini sensibly investigates the relationship between Italian working (and also not working) classes, the struggle of being a single mother in postwar Italy, and all those cityscapes that somehow are supposed to bridge past and future. In some moments it almost seems like the city itself – Rome – is the culprit for the characters' failure.
Our Lady of the Subproletariat, and her son, Our Pouty Pretty-Boy Saviour. Empathetic, almost reverent, neo-realism. Interspersed with heady, self-aware, New Wave-like interjections, then exalted by Vivaldi's baroque - mirroring the film - alternately weighty and lofty. All shot through with Magnani's overpowering presence and energy... As much of a beautiful, discordant mess as Pasolini's Rome.
Pasolini’s great celebration of Italian cinema’s Neorealist legacy. Magnani, as always, is like an earthquake in human form, reverberating with erotic energy and a pulsing bruising humanity, that works with and challenges the director's vision. Its final moments, where the film seems to transmute itself into a piece of sacrilegious Christian art, are some of the best in this Italian master’s filmography.
The first I've seen of Pasolini's early works; it's good, but it drags on a bit in stretches (like when Mama Roma is out at night with her friends from her prostitute days), and I felt the the ending was a bit contrived and clashed with the realistic tone of the rest of the movie. Anna Magnani is great as the titular heroine, and her relationship with her estranged son Ettore has some endearing moments.