Set during Italy’s postwar economic boom, an elderly man living alone with his dog is determined to maintain his self-respect whilst suffering through poverty. A solemn entry part of the Italian neorealist genre.
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In my opinion the best scene doesn't even involve Umberto - the sequence with Maria as she gets up one morning and heads into the kitchen and begins her morning routine, a tear rolls down her cheek as she remembers she's pregnant and the uncertainty it brings. Fantastic filmmaking, especially the shot looking in at her from the window.
One of the greatest.Heartbreaking story of despair,made more powerful because it is simply told.Most moving and powerful were the small gestures,such as trying to keep his dignity while considering begging.
And then ---the final few minutes.
The 2nd film of De Sica's I have viewed (Bicycle Thieves being the first), and I was extremely impressed. I don't think I've ever felt so much sympathy or empathy for a character in a film before. The film really makes you feel the malaise and anguish its depicting. It is both heartbreaking and uplifting. I may even prefer it to Bicycle Thieves (and that is a seriously bold statement seeing as I love Bicycle Thieves)
I'm still unsold on Italian neorealism, which today looks like a strange mixture of unforced finesse and pushy melodramatics. The greatest wonders in Umberto D. are things that in other films could seem incidental: the little moments, the routines, the backdrop (a look at those left behind by the economic miracle). As for the adorable dog, if you need it there to care, there's less hope than De Sica thought.
De Sica uses the cinematic language to give a voice to those who can't and/or won't speak. A fine film. The scene where he's contemplating whether or not he should beg is very well done. Wasn't exactly sure what he was doing first.