Visconti's The Innocent is an Italian period drama based on a novel by
Gabrielle d'Annunzio about the nature of 19th century marriage among the
aristocracy. It was the final film directed by Luchino Visconti.
A nobleman (an early role for Giancarlo Gianini) is
having an affair, and explains to his wife, Laura Antonelli, that he likes and
respects her more than ever, but has no passion for her, and requests that she
simply put up with his philandering. He never doubts that she will obey. After the affair cools,
her returns to his wife only to find her pregnant, obviously not by him. He
pushes for an abortion, but she will have none of it, and his mother is
ecstatic. The film does not end happily for anyone.
It is 2 hours and 5 minutes long, but with
only about 15 minutes of plot so some viewers, including me, will find the pace
slow and the story less than compelling. That does not detract from the fact
that it is an excellent film in many ways. The period is recreated
meticulously and those who love costume dramas will find lots of gowns to
ooh and ahh over.
by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Visconti's films, like those of
many of the great Italian directors, are an acquired taste. Over the years I
have managed to acquire a taste for DeSica, Bertolucci, and Fellini, but never
for Pasolini, Visconti or Antonioni. Visconti's movies are all rated high at
IMDb. In fact, L'Innocente is one of his lowest, at 7.4, but I'll be damned if
I can explain why this or any of the others are considered to be so good, not
even Death in Venice or Obsession, two films which critics love to name-drop.
I suppose there must be some important part of my brain missing..
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:
For Visconti fanatics only. Most people will find it