L'altra metà del cielo
Monica Vitti is definitely the revelation of L'altra metà del cieloi. The construction of her character's hopelessly successful attempts at reconciling reality and "ideals" (aka boyish nonsenseii) is sublimely maternal (in the best sense of that term -- not deliberately but misfortunately, miserere eis), to the point of actually functioning as an icon for the abstractly objectified woman of Catholic worship. Certainly a better icon than any alternatives available at the time, or thence -- Susanna Maccaluso's more of a Mother Theresa in Vitti's hands than the Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu character of coincidental homophonic appelation ever manages to bring to life, believe it or not (rather, believe it, because what else you've got). Her ambiguous smiles frosted in tear fringe, those confused, preteen eyes of wonder and her yet-daring-to-hope though visibly carrying a lot of disappointments mouth, a lot of heavy, burdensome, a lot of painful disappointments... Let's just say the bitch just bust into my private top ten Italian actresses, unexpected and uninvited. I guess everyone else'd better be overjoyed to make her room.
Celentano is no actor ; but his here rendition of the extremely hemmed-in fastidiousness of the obnoxiously officious intermeddler, that magpie sentiment that animates so many would-bes and wanna-bes of the deplorable underclass comes across quite clearly even if it's hopelessly mechanical. No man can be required to be an actor ; but every man must be able to act at least to this standard, the mandatory standard of golden mediocrity.
Besides that, the film's broadly uninteresting, Italian TV 70s stock-in-trade/crapolade, poorly written like the rest of them (but minus the female nudity usual in all the rest of them, a circumstance which readily cuts it in half). One available conclusion would be that all the state-sponsored effort misapplied since the 70s towards limiting "human trafficking" or "sex slavery" or whatever they call it now does not produce a better world, but quite on the contrary. Then again, drawing conclusions on the basis of TV programming is no improvement.———
- 1977, by Franco Rossi, with Monica Vitti, Adriano Celentano -- check it out, I didn't have to fix the order for once ! [↩]
- For added metalulz, she actually pretends to be one, back when it wasn't nearly as common a pretense (for lack of sufficient scum in the period's scumbags). [↩]