Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mamma Roma (1962)

****½
Italy

Pasolini's contribution to the striking number of great Italian films about irrepressible big-city prostitutes. With typical gusto Anna Magnani plays the titular one here as she battles to provide for a bright future for her delinquent son. Magnani, of course, tends to ensure a picture's watchability as soon as she takes on the lead role, yet as a consequence of this, the director of said picture is forced to take on the added challenge of insuring his doesn't turn out to be just another Anna Magnani movie. Pasolini succeeds in this - particularly in the way he portrays the malnourished outskirts of Rome, with the richness and sensuality that marks his best work. He also did well to cast the radiant Silvana Corsini as the son's love interest.

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