Bernardo Bertolucci directs Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider and Maria Michi in this erotic drama where a grieving hotel owner and a far younger free spirit start an anonymous affair.
Pretentious, hokey, dull and wobbly. That could just be Brando’s performance. He’s definitely trying something here and that rarely gels with the amateurish Schneider’s appealing if wonky lead. Their best scene together is him giving her a bath… it has true tenderness and a sensual charge missing among a lot of the other, moodier fuck sequences. The quality of the outdoors scenes is also all over the shop. I get what Bertolucci is trying to say here about desire, connection, ageing, time, loneliness and grief… but Don’t Look Now does it all with more thrills and less blatant metaphors. A couple more decades and I’ll be Brando’s age and no doubt try this a third time.
Perfect Double Bill: 9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/