Monday, November 27, 2017

Two Women (1960)

Original title: La Ciociara

Director: Vittorio De Sica

Writers: Alberto Moravia, Cesare Zavattini

Composer: Armando Trovajoli

Starring: Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Eleonora Brown, Carlo Ninchi, Andrea Checchi, Pupella Maggio, Emma Baron, Bruna Cealti, Antonella Della Porta

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Suddenly...Love Becomes Lust...Innocence becomes shame...As two women are trapped by violent passion and unforgettable terror!

Plot: In the Italy of WWII, a widow and her lonely daughter seek for distance between them and the horrors of war.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

This is a story that shows how the ravages of war don't discriminate and they leave scars sometimes worse than bombs and bullets.  Loren holds the honor of being the first actor to win an Academy Award for a foreign language film.  I haven't seen two of the other four nominated films in that category but I'm willing to bet that she deserved that award over the others.  She's fantastic. Everyone does a fine job but Loren's got the meat of it.  And boy does Cesira (Loren) have a rough time with men.  She's often confronted with bad dudes and it culminates in horror about two thirds in.  It's just frightening what happens and visually it's handled very well.  The harshness of the act is strong and very brief and it's so effective.  It's a dour picture for sure but it's not without a lot of pleasant moments.  Loren is such a powerful force that it's hard not to take your eyes off of her.  She commands it but it's not at the cost of the strong supporting cast.  If you like your wartime dramas on the downer side then this is for you.

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