La Strada (1954)
Written and directed by Federico Fellini, La Strada, or TheRoad, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1956. The film marks his departure from post-war Italian neorealism as he moved into the more hallucinatory, dreamlike themes that ultimately characterized his unique style, coined felliniesque.
The film relates the story of a vibrant-spirited young girl, Gelsomina (Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina), sold to the brutish Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a traveling performer, to get money for her struggling family. Despite his mistreatment of her and the temptation of a better life inspired by a Fool (Richard Basehart), she nevertheless refuses to leave him with no other explanation except, “If I don’t stay with you, who will?”
A great introduction from Martin Scorsese accompanies the re-released DVD, however, it should be viewed last so as not to color the fantastic ambiguity at the heart of the film.
Fellini has identified that his films are meant to be seen rather than explained. La Strada presents, for better or for worse, the paradoxically interdependent yet solitary nature of the human condition. It is a beautiful, timeless tale about individuals profoundly moved by the bittersweet anguish of existence.
- Story A-
- Acting A-
- Visuals A-
- Originality/Innovation A-
- Enjoyability A-
- Overall A-
- DVD Extras A-