A special day

A special day

DVD - 2015 | Italian
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On the day of a huge rally celebrating Hitler's visit to Rome, which underscored the infamous alliance between the Nazis and Mussolini's fascist regime, a brief encounter between a weary housewife and a radio announcer unfolds into an intimate drama.


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Mar 02, 2018

This is a great movie and I was very impressed with the moving performances of both protagonists. Very unusually Mastroianni is not playing a confident playboy and Sofia is not highlighting her looks and Neapolitan spark. It was startling to see an actor from Animal House playing Loren's unevolved and unfaithful husband but he's Canadian and the movie is an Italian Canadian co-production. You see her for only a moment or two but the character of the daughter is played by Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Il Duce.
Mastroianni is absolutely believable as a lonely, persecuted man about to be banished by the Fascist government to a Sardinian island. But with this movie there was the short film Human Voice made in 2014 by one of Loren's sons. Her character is apparently supposed to be in her 50s but was in her late 70s with inflated lips and an atypically weak voice when it was made. Her acting is absolutely not up to the challenge of this famous French play and the fact that her lover is about 50 years old, only highlights her elderly face. I choose to remember her from her other work.

Feb 06, 2018

This is a terrific film: it has great simplicity (there are only two major characters, all the others are incidental), humane drama (its structured as a modernist tragedy), with some humour. The best aspect of the film is its appearance: not quite black and white, but not colour either; instead its a brownish gold and white with other colours muted. The biggest shortcoming, and the reason why I didn't give it five stars, is the overuse of close-ups and cutbacks.

Jan 11, 2018

A simple and well done movie about two lonely people and the effect of rising fascism on them. Minimalist setting with documentary shots from the 1938 meeting of Hitler and Mussolini.

Dec 12, 2017

loved it

Nov 21, 2017

Unable to fully review due to the poor condition of the disc. One only has so much patience.

Aug 30, 2017

Sophia Loren, in a 2015 interview, named this film and "Two Women" as her best films. She's right, of course.

Jul 24, 2017

A rediscovered gem from the 1970s, beautifully restored and re-released by the Criterion Collection. The "special day" ("Una Giornata Particolare") in question is in 1938 when Hitler visited Rome and Mussolini rolled out the red carpet. It begins with documentary footage, but this historical event is the backdrop to the real story, a brief, unlikely relationship between 2 lonely people in an apartment complex. Sofia Loren, playing against type as a dowdy housewife, and Marcello Mastroianni were one of the great screen teams and this is one of their most interesting pairings. Both are understated and touching, as is the film, written and directed by Ettore Scola, who wrote one of my favorite Italian movies from the 60s, "Il Sorpasso." Almost all of the film takes place in the apartment building, but it's never slow or meandering. It has a unique, de-saturated look, which resembles a faded picture. Quietly heartbreaking. Produced by Loren's husband, Carlo Ponti. The special features include an interview with Loren, an interview with Scola, and 2 old Dick Cavatt shows with Loren and Mastroianni.

Jun 29, 2016

This 1977 film (beautifully restored by Criterion) depicting Italians on the special day in 1938 in which Hitler came to Rome to make an alliance with Mussolini tells the tale of two woeful souls played by Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, in role types unique to their careers. Don’t peek at the film description prior to watching as all the reviews I’ve seen are true spoilers. This is one of the best films that I have seen this year. It was Oscar nominated as best foreign film and best actor. It won the Golden Globe as best foreign film and Mastroianni was Golden Globe nominated as best actor. While the film is mostly about these two souls, it is also a warning to beware of strong men making false political promises. Kinda important in the good old USA in 2016 in which one of the presidential candidates struts around like a strong man.

Feb 17, 2016

This specific dvd transfer is very poor quality. It is dubbed, not in widescreen (it is supposed to be), and it has a black bar through the bottom of the picture across 98% of the screen. Not only that but the colors are way off and the entire thing is basically distorted.

I didn't try to watch it because the quality was too poor. Hopefully CPL will get the Criterion version -- I wouldn't check this out.


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