Worth suffering through the ✮✮-level first 45 minutes. The rest is a ✮✮✮✮-grade top-dog melodrama. The cut-off point is the end of the horrible scene with Giuseppe the taxi driver when the bundling kicks off.
The sentiment is noble and there are big ideas in this film, but it's hard to say that it aged well. Now, Voyager didn't portray the way people went about life and love then and it certainly doesn't do it now. Love Affair (i.e.), done a few years early, is a better melodrama. Still, Rapper's work is often intriguing and Davis and Henreid's relationship is undoubtedly to die for.
An absolutely brilliant melodrama...despite all the ingredients for a camp classic, it thankfully skirts that realm and I think the presence of Rains & Cooper have a lot to do with that...and Davis clearly refuses to raise her performance to the levels she would later on.
One of Davis’ most delicate roles, portraying a woman for whom independence is greater than money, comfort, or even love. Her saucer eyes were never more expressive than here—two crystalline dams perpetually on the verge of loosing the Red Sea. Though her ultimate happiness defaults to pseudo-motherhood, the film’s preoccupation with free-will makes it an early feminist work gussied up in the trappings of melodrama.