Italy, 1963, 97 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Vittorio De Sica, Not Rated, Rialto Pictures, Italian with English subtitles
“Among the most savage and surreal of Italian comedies ... How did this one get overlooked?” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
The great Alberto Sordi became Italy’s #1 star portraying archetypal losers in a string of classics starting with Fellini’s The White Sheik and I Vitelloni. In Il Boom, he’s Giovanni, a young exec missing out on the postwar economic boom and going bankrupt as he struggles to keep his status-conscious wife happy. When all seems lost, a rich matron offers Giovanni an offer he can’t refuse. As a natural consequence of neorealism, Italy continued to make socially conscious films that tackled society’s ills, only this time with gales of dark, biting, satirical laughter. Neorealism’s most lauded tandem, director Vittorio De Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini (Shoeshine, Bicycle Thief, Umberto D) made their own indelible contribution to commedia all’italiana with Il Boom which is being distributed in the U.S. for the first time over half-a-century after it was made. Dino De Laurentiis’ production looks and sounds better than ever in its gleaming restoration.
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