L'Innocente

Visconti treats the script's florid speeches as sensual delights-translations into language of a vanished opulence that his images lovingly display.

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L'Innocente

Gabrielle d'Annunzio’s passionate novel is brought to life in the final masterpiece from acclaimed director Luchino Visconti. In late-nineteenth century Italy, Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini), an insatiable aristocrat, grows bored with his timid wife Giuliana (Laura Antonelli) and neglects her for his more exciting mistress, the wealthy widow Countess Teresa Raffo (Jennifer O'Neill). Things change when he learns that Giuliana is having a torrid affair of her own.

"[
L'innocente is] among the most beautiful and severely disciplined films [VIsconti] has ever made. "The Innocent" is also one of Visconti's most terse, most dramatically economical films. There's not a superfluous frame in it. Further, it is splendidly performed by Mr. Giannini... and by Miss Antonelli, whose childlike face and voluptuous body combine to form a kind of ideograph that tells us what the film is all about. "The Innocent,"... is a fitting coda to the Visconti career. It's a film of effortless command in which the director's presence is everywhere felt — and nowhere intrudes." ~ Vincent Canby, The New York Times

"The lavish, colorful depictions of stately villas with their sumptuous furnishings and immortal art work and the characters’ exquisite attire are matched by the director’s carnal delight in the beautiful people themselves. He films Giannini, Antonelli, and O’Neill with a rapt tenderness, capturing their exchanges of glances across crowded rooms or empty space with closeups of a rare magnetic power. These ravishing images are matched by the mellifluous, modulated voices that pour out grief in lofty and delicate phrases—and conceal, with the same rhetorical flourishes, deeply calculated machinations of an imperial cruelty." ~ Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"[A] worthy finale to a distinguished career. It has a great performance from Laura Antonelli as the wife, and excellent ones from Giannini and Jennifer O'Neill as husband and lover." ~ Time Out
R
Genre
Romance, Drama
Runtime
112
Language
Italian
Director
Luchino Visconti
Writer(s)
Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Enrico Medioli, Luchino Visconti
Cast
Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, Jennifer O'Neill

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