8 1/2

I know I have seen this before, a while ago, and I clearly wasn’t giving it my full attention as I remember being vaguely complimentary and vaguely dismissive at the same time.What was I thinking?! Having just seen the restored re-release of this 1963 Oscar-winner on a cinema screen, I formally recant any reservations and hereby declare this to be a masterpiece.You can read in depth about the background to the film elsewhere, but suffice to say that this comic/existential drama totally hit the spot for me, exploring as it does themes of juggling professional stresses and personal crises. Fellini lays it all on the screen for anyone to see, hiding nothing. Life is a circus, his protagonist is the ringmaster, and sometimes difficult choices have to be made.

Marcello Mastroianni is perfect as the flawed on-screen version of Fellini himself, and Claudia Cardinale is just beautiful.

I can’t explain how glad I am that I gave this a second chance. It’s perfect.

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