Visconti's last film is an elegant drama depicting a wealthy Italian aristocrat (Giancario Giannini) who, becoming bored with his apparently timid wife (Laura Antonelli), neglects her for his more exciting mistress (Jennifer O'Neill). On finding that his wife is having a torrid affair of her own, he is unable to accept the situation and cannot accept the sexual double standards he portrays. The drama unfolds with tragic consequences as the characters go about their business with seeming elegance and restraint. A classic case of not appreciating what you have until it's gone. Shot in lavishly saturated colour, it is a sophisticated account of 19th century Italian aristocratic society. Visconti died in the year of the film's release.
As always with Visconti this tragic, beautifully made film probes deeply into the soul of man. Few movies can equal this exquisite examination of moral corruption, infidelity, jealousy, lust, revenge, infanticide and despair culminating in the ultimate act of human self-disgust. Laura Antonelli is beguiling as the bewildered victim of her heartless husband's volatile passions.
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italian costume drama
- The Innocent review by pete b
this is possibly a film that a fan of costume drama would enjoy more than i myself did . . . . . . . . . .