Le amiche (1955)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Roman couturier Clelia (Eleonora Rossi-Drago) leaves the big city to work at a boutique in Turin. She moves into a hotel and makes several new friends, but is soon drawn into their extremely unpleasant lives. Clelia enters a doomed relationship with a poor architect's assistant (Ettore Manni), sees her new best friend Rosetta (Madeleine Fischer) commit suicide after being jilted by her married lover (Gabriele Ferzetti), and is eventually fired from her new job when her hysteria over Rosetta's death interferes with her work. Clelia finally goes back to Rome, and viewers will not blame her a bit. Le Amiche, based on a 1949 article published in La Bella Estate ("Tre Donne Sole" by Cesare Pavese), is perhaps Michelangelo Antonioni's first great film. Juggling 10 characters with great aplomb, Antonioni and co-screenwriters Suso Cecchi D'Amico and Alba De Cespedes have created a rich, interlocking narrative which manages to rise above mere melodrama through careful attention to the ebb and flow of interpersonal relationships and a keen sense of balance. The fine supporting cast includes Valentina Cortese, Yvonne Furneaux, and Franco Fabrizi.
Art House & International , Drama
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Titanus Produzione

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Critic Reviews for Le amiche

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

Antonioni turns a glossy romantic melodrama of modern prosperity inside out to reveal the essence of modernity itself.

Full Review… | May 24, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

Antonioni's ability to use the screen's illusion of depth or the way he lends an eloquence to the space between characters is a marvel. How he has these people stand is so much more expressive than anything they say.

Full Review… | June 30, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The expressive elegance of Antonioni's camera movements -- the way he glides around a scene, composing and recomposing the human figures within it to suggest psychological patterns and unacknowledged erotic connections -- still has the power to amaze.

June 18, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

Long before the he put Monica Vitti through the existentialist-ennui wringer, Michelangelo Antonioni gave the world this muted melodrama about urban females dealing with boorish men, banal modern life and the occasional suicide attempt.

Full Review… | June 15, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

An unexpected treasure.

Full Review… | June 15, 2010
Village Voice
Top Critic

Though seldom seen now, Antonioni's fourth feature is one of his greatest films, in which diverse plot strands, character psychology, and a masterful control of the camera are perfectly fused.

Full Review… | July 31, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Le amiche


Like an Antonioni movie... yeah, I went there. It's actually one of his better ones. It's a character study that is compelling because it raises the stakes of material that in other hands would be just soap opera fodder. There is some of that here, but there's also really strong performances and writing that knocks it far away. And how Antonioni cuts or stages scenes is usually very interesting.

Jack Gattanella
Jack Gattanella

Based on Cesare Pavese's novella, this film examines the complex interplay and emotional intensity of relations between a bourgeois group of women. The pervasive cynicism within the novella is concentrated in Momina's character. The film also emphasizes the burgeoning and evolving role of the independent woman. This early work shows the development of Antonioni's unique framing and narration methods, particularly in the beach scene. It's rare to have an ensemble cast deliver such strong performances!

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

[center][img]http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/9552/amichebannerup7.jpg[/img][/center] (DVD) (First Viewing, 9th Antonioni film) It’s rather difficult to gage whether or not [b]Le Amíche[/b] (1955) would be of any real interest if the young Michelangelo Antonioni had not gone on to become [I]Michelangelo Antonioni[/I]… but for an early effort, it’s very, very good. It stands out among the director’s filmography simply because for once there’s much too much—too many characters, too many plotlines to follow, the art direction too cluttered—and it carries its emotions on its sleeve in a way not seen elsewhere in an Antonioni film. The best and most memorable sequence, which depicts a group of bright young things at the beach quickly sinking into a bog of collective boredom and indifference, clearly precedes the ennui of [I]L’Avventura[/I] that revolutionized cinema. One gets the very real sense of a great artist’s vision germinating and taking root, and the effect is exhilarating.

Jesse Last
Jesse Last

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