In this dreamlike, 19th-century-set period piece, Mastroianni stars as Fulvio, an aging political revolutionary of noble birth who begins questioning his commitment to the cause. While he secretly desires to return to his place among the aristocracy, Fulvio’s cowardice keeps him from renouncing his anarchist comrades—a situation that sets into motion a series of increasingly dangerous lies and betrayals. Mastroianni handles this complex, antihero role with superb understatement, while the Taviani brothers punctuate the proceedings with hallucinatory, often musical interludes. It all comes wrapped in a painterly visual style and with a typically inspired Ennio Morricone score. 35mm print from Istituto Luce Cinecittà.
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