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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Posted by martinteller on February 2, 2007

De Sica… in color!  Still with horrible dubbing, but in color!  It sure is lovely.  And it’s completely boring.  It’s the story of a well-to-do Jewish family during the fascist takeover in Italy.  This ought to be a ripe subject, and it’s nice to see the theme of people hiding behind their wealth from unpleasantness.  But that’s all pretty obvious from the beginning, and it doesn’t get explored during the course of the film to any satisfaction.  Instead we’re primarily given a predictably melodramatic love story, awful sappy music and way too much makeup (especially on the guys).  The acting was good, if you can look past the bad dub job.  The cinematography was nice, although De Sica does nothing particularly interesting or poetic with the camera.  There’s just nothing to the story, and there’s no real emotional weight or investment in the characters.  It was REALLY hard to sit through because it’s so incredibly dull and banal (I would say that banality is perhaps the point, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch).  This is De Sica well beyond his peak.  Rating: 5


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