Physically beautiful, with an astounding last 5 minutes that elevates
the film to another level.
Like all Antonioni films, this might even improve on 2nd viewing, but less
obviously than with the better known L'Avventura. This story is less
mysterious, less surreal, so there is less a sense that one is missing
A woman leaves her fiancé, falls for a young stockbroker, and we see
that everyone cares more about money and 'things' than human
relationships. The scenes in the stock exchange are amazingly shot, and
every frame uses architecture and framing to underline the themes of
alienation and the emptiness of modern life. Monica Vitti and Alain
Delon make the two leads more human and real than earlier Antonioni
But a number of scenes just feel clunky, even if beautiful, and some
ideas seem overstated or over-repeated.
That said, the experimental last five minutes, which puts the themes in
a wider, more global context, is very moving and special. And to be
fair, many love this even more than I, though not in the the near
universal embrace of L'Avventura.
Note: The Criterion disc, while generally gorgeous, has some annoying,
if subtle flickering in the transfer, confirmed as a built-in problem
with some on-line research.