Italy, 1977, 106 min, Digital, Dir. Ettore Scola, Unrated and unsuitable for children, Janus Films, Italian with English subtitles
"An acting tour de force for Loren and Mastroianni. Their brief encounter lights up the screen with the kind of radiance you get only from great actors who are also great stars." - Vincent Canby, New York Times
When writer-director Ettore Scola passed away in January, we lost the last remaining architect of commedia all'italiana, a looking glass through which postwar Italy faced its woes - and learned to laugh at itself. As the genre ran its course well into the seventies, Scola spread his wings and made several hits (Le Bal, La Nuit de Varennes) where laughter was not the engine. Perhaps his greatest international success came with A Special Day, nominated for Best Actor and Best Foreign Film Oscars and winner of the French César and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. Dream team Sophia Loren (Antonietta) and Marcello Mastroianni (Gabriele) are cast against glamorous type and deliver two of the finest performances of their careers in this moving, quietly subversive drama. Though it's set in Rome on the historic day in 1938 when Benito Mussolini and the city first rolled out the carpet for Adolf Hitler, the film takes place entirely in a working-class 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 homosexual radio broadcaster awaiting deportation. The film reaches its dramatic apex in a whisper-smooth, heart-wrenching scene played without music and with the camera barely leaving Antonietta's face. The events of this special day change her and Gabriele profoundly.
Join us at the Gables Cinema during our special tribute screenings, honoring the life and careers of beloved filmmakers who have passed.