Bellissima

Bellissima is a 1951 Italian neorealist drama film directed by Luchino Visconti.

The film, starring Anna Magnani,  is a satire of the postwar Italian film industry, and particularly the dream of stardom encouraged by the neorealist movement which plucked out ordinary members of the public to appear in film productions.
The movie centers on a working-class mother in Rome, Maddalena, who drags her young daughter to Cinecittà to attend an audition for a new film by Alessandro Blasetti.  Maddalena, who loves movies, makes all possible efforts to promote her daughter career in film.

The Life and Times of Count Luchino Visconti

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Born into a prominent family of Milanese aristocrats, Luchino Visconti had a rare perspective on social class and familial tradition that informs his work. His films, small at first, grew to operatic proportions as his career went on, with a thematic grandeur to equal their visual opulence.

Bellissima, one of his most focused and brilliant works, can be therefore described as Visconti’s farewell to the movement that he founded by drawing inspiration from Jean Renoir, to whom he had been apprenticed in the 1930s.

The film, starring Anna Magnani,  is a satire of the postwar Italian film industry, and particularly the dream of stardom encouraged by the neorealist movement which plucked out ordinary members of the public to appear in film productions.

Like Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Umberto D. (1951), Bellissima addresses economic hardship in postwar Italy, but it does so in a less straightforward way than the two films by Vittorio De Sica.

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Movie Info

Rating: NR
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Directed By: Luchino Visconti
Written By: Cesare Zavattini (Zavattini‘s opinion), Suso Cecchi D’Amico (screenplay)
Runtime: 1h 48min
Country: Italy
Language: Italian

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