Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

aka - Night, The
Italy 1961
Directed by
Michelangelo Antonioni
121 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Notte, La

Following on from his success in with L'Avventura, Antonioni sets his lugubrious story over a single night and depicts the misery of a couple no longer in love with each other. It is a film which will for many recall Fellini's La Dolce Vita, released the previous year, which also had Marcello Mastroianni as the central male character. With that experience under his belt Mastroianni is perfect as the melancholy flaneur of modern life, here twinned with the less comfortable Jeanne Moreau as his equally estranged wife as they attempt to distract themselves from their boredom with themselves and each other.

Antonioni's visual mastery is evident throughout with set pieces like Moreau's solo flight through the wastelands of Milan and an almost bizarre libidinal dance performed by a Negro couple in a jazz bar however the carefully controlled pace and overall sense of existential weariness is less diverting than it was in its day (it won Best Film at Berlin in 1961) and the film will have more appeal to those familiar with the director's work who can take from it what they want. Antonioni manages to make the mis-cast Moreau look decidedly unattractive and it is little wonder that she was unhappy with her performance, however his regular star, Monica Vitti, brings a ray of light towards the end of proceedings.

DVD Extras: Audio commentary by Melbourne film academic, Rolando Caputo, a 55m documentary, Michelangelo Antonioni - A Portrait; Theatrical Trailer.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




Want something different?

random vintage best worst