Mastroianni brings a brooding intensity to this psychologically charged modernist melodrama from unsung auteur Valerio Zurlini. He plays Enrico, an impoverished journalist who, after learning of the untimely death of his younger brother Lorenzo (Jacques Perrin), reflects on their fraught relationship. Raised in separate households—Enrico by his poor grandmother, Lorenzo in the home of a wealthy nobleman—the two reunite as young men, weathering years of changing fortunes, family crises, and, finally, Lorenzo’s long illness. Bathed in a mood of magisterial melancholy, “the classiest ‘male weepie’ ever filmed” (Elliott Stein) achieves an almost transcendent poignancy thanks to Mastroianni’s masterful performance and Zurlini’s sensitively stylized direction. 35mm print from Istituto Luce Cinecittà.
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