We want to honor the fabulous career of Ettore Scola (1931-2016) by talking about one of his greatest film.
Set in Rome on the historic day in 1938 when Adolf Hitler visited the city. Benito Mussolini and the city rolled out the red carpet for him. The movie takes place entirely in an apartment building, where an unexpected friendship blossoms between a pair of people who haven’t joined the festivities: a conservative housewife and mother tending to her domestic duties and a liberal radio broadcaster awaiting deportation.
Scola became famous for his comedies but at a later age he decided to shift to the more dramatic genre and created some beautiful stories like this one. Scola was a master in the subtle messages and his stories always had a double entente. Scola made sure the movies he made had great foundation by co-writing the movies. As any great director he knew how to get the best of his actors and in this film he had ‘la crème de la crème in Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The most famous Italian actors are on top of their form with their complete different characters. Mastroianni plays a liberal, homosexual broadcaster and Loren an avid supporter of Mussolini. Scola made them break a wall and thanks to their immense talent both actors make this seemingly impossible friendship work. It is impressive to see this friendship bloom. The movie works because it stay true to the core of the story and the teamwork of both actors.
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actor and Best Foreign Film. It deserves all the praise it received and will remain one of Italy’s greatest masterpieces.