Federico Fellini's 1963 semi-autobiographical story about a worshipped filmmaker who has lost his inspiration is still a mesmerising mystery tour that has been quoted (Woody Allen's Stardust Memories
, Paul Mazursky's Alex in Wonderland
) but never duplicated. Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido, a director trying to relax a bit in the wake of his latest hit. Besieged by people eager to work with him, however, he also struggles to find his next idea for a film. The combined pressures draw him within himself, where his recollections of significant events in his life and the many lovers he has left behind begin to haunt him. The marriage of Fellini's hyper-real imagery, dreamy sidebars and the gravity of Guido's increasing guilt and self-awareness make this as much a deeply moving, soulful film as it is an electrifying spectacle. Mastroianni is wonderful in the lead, his woozy sensitivity to Guido's freefall both touching and charming--all the more so as the character becomes increasingly divorced from the celebrity hype that ultimately outpaces him. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
Marcello Mastroianni plays a character based on the film's director, Federico Fellini. Guido Anselmi (Mastroianni) is a successful filmmaker who takes a rest at a spa between projects, but finds himself creatively bankrupt and constantly pestered by his writer, several actresses, his wife and his mistress. The director begins to re-live moments from his past as he becomes increasingly distanced from the present. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.