Have I mentioned I have blinders on for Franco Zeffirellli? I have blinders on for Zeffirelli.
This is a gorgeous movie. Every frame is rich with color. It’s really affecting to see how Zeffirelli works with color because recently it seems like everyone picks a palette for their films and does not escape beyond that. I can’t quite put my finger on what he’s doing, but I think the safest way to explain it is: a temperature is chosen, and the shades and tones that work within that temperature are used. It’s great.
Also, if you’re a fan of movies with fabulous ladies, this movie has all of them. Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher! She is great. I’d forgotten just how excellent an actress she is. And there’s Lily Tomlin. I feel like I’ve done her a disservice not recognizing just how good she is. Her performance is incredibly grounded and real. So good.
The movie is about British and American ex-pats in Mussolini’s Italy, and how they survive WWII. There’s a lot I don’t know about Italy and Mussolini’s effect on the communities and people there. So, it was really nice to have window into the situations and problems that arose under fascism.