Warm, genuine, simple, and so heartbreaking. The subtlety of it all and the masterful avoidance of schmaltz is just absolutely fantastic. The story of Umberto (and his dog!) is full of heart and life, and I think my puffy eyes after a night of crying tell a story, too.
Living lives of quiet desperation in Rome of 1952. Touching connection of the maid with the tenant who faces privations multiplied by a thoughtless landlady who has his room wrecked in her anxiety to get rid of him. How potent the effect of selling off his precious things to raise the missing rent, with the emotion of being alone and unwanted. Heartrending to realise he has run out of options.dog cries at his choice
Such a simple tale, one man trying to figure out how he will pay the rent money he owes and how he will keep his beloved dog at his side, but this turns into something simplistically beautiful and moving. Director Vittorio De Sica guides his leading man, Carlo Battisti, to a point that will have many viewers close to tears. Not me though. No way. Nuh uh. Okay, yeah, I almost totally broke down.
Profound exploration of the life of a man. The gradual, inexorable chipping away at the meaning of his life is mirrored by the potential destruction of the maid's, in both cases spurned by a callous society that is illustrated by the grossness of the landlady and her mates. The scene with the couple who 'looked after' dogs had me squirming with horror at the dog's potential fate, that woman is going to haunt me!
A tender, warm, yet despairing film about poverty and the battles for survival in a world that is cold and stark, yet not without glimpses of charm. Take for example the wonderful humility of Maria, a young pregnant girl who is herself in trouble, but finds the time to help him. Maria acts as a beacon of light, shining through a world otherwise devoid of hope. In the end, the simple love of an animal is all he needs.
If phenomenology could become a filmic style this would have been neorealism De Sica style. This is not a terribly original thing to say, yet the fusion of existentialism and social commentary traverses a broad spectrum of emotions which visually engage us in synechodches (crowd/ants), magisterial pans, sculpted close-ups, expressionist lighting and rapid dialectical resolutions (the riveting finale). Masterpiece!