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Giulietta degli Spiriti (Juliet of the Spirits) Reviews

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Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2011
"My wife thinks I'm cheating (and I am, I'm a great artist, I belong to everyone, how can anyone expect me to stay with only one, even my wife?) so I'll make a film, a great film ... it's about a wife who thinks her husband is cheating. Who do I get to play the wife? My wife, of course. It's so twisted, so vain, they'll call it genius."
It may not be true, but its what I thought watching this empty exercise in visual overstimulation: this is the lie a cheating husband tells his loyal spouse.
RCCLBC
RCCLBC

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2008
Giulietta Masina is a delight to watch.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

January 19, 2009
Semi-autobiographical piece put forth by Fellini and his wife, Giulietta Masina. It's the story of Giulietta (Giulietta), the spouse of a wealthy socialite who is forced to come to terms with her fleeting youth and her husband's infidelity.

True to his nature, Fellini uses an abundance of symbolism, abstract scripting and flamboyant characters to tell the story.

For me, it's all a tad overwhelming. Maybe it's because this was his first color film, but there are so many extravagant visuals that it's hard to pay attention to the characters. I much prefer Fellini's earlier pictures where he cares about the story a little more and the scenery a little less.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2007
It's hard to tell if the world we live in is either reality or a dream. -- Bin-jip (3-Iron) This line from 3-Iron is very appropriate for describing Giulietta Masina's dilemma in Juliet of the Spirits. In her struggle to free herself from the life she lives, Masina has moments where she wonders about whether the people she sees are in fact real. In her struggle to transcend her current situation, she at times borders on a kind of descent into madness because of her inability to distinguish between the real and the imagined. If you want to see Masina finally win one, this is the film for you. To loosely borrow from Stephanie in Saturday Night Fever when she attempts to label Tony's life, in Juliet of the Spirits Masina is a cliche; she's going nowhere. She manages, however, through the course of this story to turn her life around and escape from the trap, break out of the stale cliche her life has become. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Masina has an amazingly expressive face. Beautiful. Having used the word "cliche," I want to make it clear that Fellini's films are anything but cliches. He is a master of keeping his audience on their toes. Every transition to a new scene is a mystery; you never can guess where he's going next. And apparently, that's the way he made his movies: each is a kind of impromptu dance.
Tom S

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2007
Giulietta really had exquisite hats.
January 10, 2012
I'm doing my best to fill in gaps on my classic film viewing, so I gave this one a spin from the TiVo awhile back. Fellini in color is a wonderfulk thing to behold and the story is fairly engaging, if a tad meander-y at times.

I would definitely recommend checking this one out, though the story of a rich housewife coming to terms with her husband's philandering may not be all that compelling for everyone.

Worth a look for cinephiles for sure.
March 14, 2010
I only assume, because Masina and Fellini were married, this was true to life. Why not? They're both dead, so it's not like they can dispute my claim. I fell asleep several times watching this, so waking up while Juliet is in her fantasy-land actually enhanced things.
baskilmojo
May 12, 2009
Katie's thoughts - Long, wandering and boring with some interesting characters/visuals/style. I really enjoyed the Susie

Shawn's thoughts - A little weak in the story department but loaded with interesting visuals. Even a weak Fellini film is worth watching for the style and outlandish set design.


seen 6/27/09
holmennnguy
June 29, 2009
Wow. Only the great Federico Fellini could have made a film like this. Each one of his movies are very unique and have a certain quality to them that are easily recognizable. Like all of his films, Juliet Of The Spirits is stunning in the aspects of lighting and visuals. Giulietta Masina is of course pitch-perfect. One of her best performances, if not her best. At times it can be hard to follow because you really need to get into the mind of Juliet to truly understand the entire film. So I may need to rewatch this movie in a couple months and see if I love it even more. Featured in this movie are tons of creepy visuals. One of Fellini's most underrated.
May 12, 2009
even by Fellini standards, this film struck me as pretty weird. a head-first charge into color cinematography with vibrant colors and gaudy synthetic sets perfectly fitting for the materialist 1960s. engaging semi-autobiographic story of Fellini and Masina's marriage, complete with Fellini's always-bizarre-often-ambiguous cinematic dreamscapes. not quite the awe-inspiring brilliance of some of his earlier stuff, but this one has its moments.
jes25924
June 30, 2008
Really sort of the female counter part to 8 1/2, It had the same sort of dream/memory/fantasy narrative, and the same sprawling dialogue and humor, the biggest difference was this was about relationships and sexual repression and freedom, had a female lead and was in technicolor, which Fellini really makes great use of, it adds a kelidoscopic psychedelic feel to the whole movie. There really are some amazing visuals and all the dialoge is superb. Though I guess its not so much a female 8 1/2 as it is a caricature of a marriage during the sexual revolution , but it's still a funny and poignant one. Great performances and memory dialog; the sexual revolution as a circus.
leegrant3
February 1, 2007
A little more than 2 hours of nothingness. There was not point, no plot, and no real reason for making it. Just a bunch of mess.
Brett C.
July 28, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Juliet of the Spirits is the story of a woman who suspects that her husband may be having an affair.

The film featured a strong premise but sadly its plot and direction was a bit of a mess. The film's story explores ideas of infidelity, which was the main key that kept me engaged throughout; scenes are delivered to emphasise this but Federico Fellini, the director, restrains it too heavily and instead pushed forward the protagonist's psychological and spiritual conundrums. I am all for a deep character study but for me to engage a film in that way, the film's story should be much simpler and letting the film's ambiguity be only found internally rather than both; Fellini's style overwhelms both the story and the character development, leaving me at times too distant from the film's heart. In a positive note, I was at least able to care for enough about our protagonist that I was curious enough to finish her journey, and Fellini succeeded this through strong establishment of the character early on in the film.

I was quite impressed with the film's cinematography, contrasting two different styles, naturalistic and surrealistic. I have read many times that Fellini is known for this dreamlike quality in his films, which I am not yet used to as my first film from the man was I Vitelloni, which takes a much more simplistic and accessible approach. After seeing this film, it is clear to me that I would have to watch the director's films more than once in order to appreciate and understand his visual aesthetic.

Nino Rota's musical score for Juliet of the Spirits is also polarising tonally, it goes back and forth from optimistically light to pessimistically deep. Rota's score certainly aided me in gaining a sort of understanding of what Fellini is trying to show on screen, and because of his score, it was easy for me to be orientated of Juliet's perspective; not once did I feel confused on whether we are watching Juliet's psychological visions or actuality.

The acting in this film was certainly strong with a breezy performance from Giulietta Masina, showing no signs of melodrama which was surprising as films during this period tend to lean towards that end of the acting spectrum in order for their roles to feel approachable. Most of Masina's performance is found in her eyes which display the truth of her character while the rest of her face displays a shield that projects to the people around her on what she wants them to think she is feeling. As Fellini kept most of the film's focus on Masina's character, the supporting cast was not given enough screen time to deliver a true supporting performance.

Juliet of the Spirits is far from Fellini's almost-masterpiece I Vitelloni, but it has enough strong elements that keep it from being atrocious. I just hope as I go in deeper in Fellini's filmography that none of them would fall lower than this film.
May 22, 2014
Every bit 8 1/2's equal. Stunning technical and emotional complexity in this colorful, psychological examination of a woman in crisis.
March 7, 2014
The world of dreams and madness is more fantastic than the real one. Fellini's""Giulietta degli Spiriti" is a visual show. The Director introduce us to a life full of loneliness and despair, a life that could be our in any time.
December 27, 2013
Fellini's first in color is a fluid and visually astonishing carnival ride that tasks the viewer with the puzzle of which characters are rewarded and which are yoked.
October 18, 2013
Visually stunning and its influence is clear on Woody Allen, David Bowie and others. A mad fantasy but time has passed and the pupil (Allen) in my opinion outclasses his master.
July 22, 2013
A bizarre trip through a woman's quest for freedom from her marriage. Fascinating, Fellini is something else.
May 8, 2013
Fellini's first color film is a fascinating assortment of imagery that recalls religion, sexuality, and old-age. It's just not one of his most thought-out films.
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