Bellisima (1951)

Luchino Visconti directs Anna Magnani, Walter Chiari and Tecla Scarano in this Italian comedy drama where an ambitious mother squanders every resource when her daughter gets a callback to audition at Cinecittà.

If ever there was a movie they should have remade in the 1980s with Cher or Bette Midler then it should have been this. Watching the brash and volatile Magnani (she’s fantastic) go all in: risking her marriage, her well being, her reputation, her home and eventually her daughter’s happiness is hypnotic. Like a female Uncut Gems – she sinks further and further into that hole until the hole is all she knows. Still Bellisima stays funny and has a lot of sympathetic heart… Also a nice process movie as to how the Italian movie studios worked.


Perfect Double Bill: Le Notti Bianche (1957)

My wife and I do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here


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