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Story of a Love Affair

Story of a Love Affair (1950)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 876

My Rating

Movie Info

Michelangelo Antonioni's first narrative feature is a stark, minimal interpersonal drama that would establish many of the themes and techniques that would recur in his work for the rest of his career. Story of a Love Affair centers on the dynamic between Guido (Massimo Girotti) and Paola (Lucia Bosť), two old flames re-igniting their passions for one another. Tabs are being kept on both of the lovers by their current spouses as well as by a private investigator, but even after their pursuers

Jun 28, 2005

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1) | DVD (7)

Story of a Love Affair is tacky.

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A remarkable formal effort involving a detective, an adulterous trio, a murder plot, a choreographic mise en scene, and an extended flashback.

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film has its moments of crackling passion and secret suspense. It's an amazing film, and one of the great feature debuts in movie history.

January 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Antonioni's debut, and already an identification of a woman

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Atmospheric, original film.

August 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television | Comment (1)
Classic Film and Television

A richly textured variation on The Postman Always Rings Twice.

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

A remarkable film.

April 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The unsurpassed beauty of Antonioni's visual art lifts his two-penny story and hollow people into the exalted realm of the senses.

October 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Story of a Love Affair

this movie is of interest because it's antonioni's first full length film. you can see the ties to neo-realism, the documentary format, and the development of his technique. lucia bose is fascinating to watch because of the methods antonioni used to get desired effects. because of her youth and inexperience, he even resorted to slapping her to obtain the desired results.
December 3, 2008

Super Reviewer

A film auteur,literally and profoundly.Anything that goes against him,will probably go against the post-modern cinematic language.The debut feature shows promise and mystery,taunting the wealth of the era and feeling sympathetic to low-life characters,including the detective.Action is replaced by spiritual hesitation,a well-maintained picture,too accessible for an Antonioni film.
December 28, 2009
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

Antonioni's films aren't the most accessible, and in that respect, Story of a Love Affair with its genre-film machinations and linear plot is a lot easier to get into than, say, L'Eclisse (which I've never finished watching, but I want to). It's not an art film, by any means, affecting a noir-ish plot and a relatively faster pace than your typical arty movie. Some over-the-top acting (I thought) by Lucia Bosť as miserable socialite Paola Fontana also makes this movie a lot less high-falutin.

That isn't to say that this is your typical genre film, though. Although the aesthetic didn't appeal much to me personally, there are some very attractive shots of the sensual from-the-back variety that made me stop and think. I also really liked the opening shot of the polaroids of Paola being tossed onto a table, showing us a quick into a girl's life as she grows up. I guess I don't "get" Antonioni, because at first blush I didn't see that much to look at in this film.

Where the movie is most interesting is in its examination of Paola and Guido's sad lives through their desperate relationship with each other, most notably in the scene where they talk about their happiness and then in an instance realize that their joy is a shallow and empty one. Antonioni doesn't play their misery for melodrama; he doesn't have any lingering shots of Paola or Guido sitting and staring and obviously feeling sorry for themselves. But their conversations reveal their insecurities and failure to grasp fulfillment despite material comfort and "love."

I thought it was also interesting how it looked like Paola's husband's suspicions of her infidelity actually drove her towards reuniting with Guido, since Paola and Guido have no contact until after the detectives are hired, and Guido only comes to warn her that someone is looking into her past. Nevertheless, that detective thread doesn't really go anywhere, even to the climax.

Still, though, it's kind of a boring movie, and I found Paola's flouncing and hysteria a bit annoying. On the other hand, I enjoyed the character of Guido much more because he seemed more realistic and moderate to me, struggling with his emotions and commitments and the fact that he's not happy despite being with the woman he desires.

I found the rest of the movie a bit of a mess, and the music is God-awful, that's for sure, completely ruining the tone of the movie.

Meh. Not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, and doesn't convince me that I could be an Antonioni fan.
October 5, 2007

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Story of a Love Affair (Cronaca di un amore) (DE)
  • Chronicle of a Love (UK)
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