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Monica Vitti leaves her much-older lover Francisco Rabal in favor of arrogant young stockbroker Alain Delon. All they have in common is sex, but they make an effort to sustain the relationship on an intellectual level. The action--or lack of it--is played out in the tempestuous Borsa section of Rome. Eclipse (originally L'Eclisse), Antonioni's follow-up to the equally slow-and-steady L'Aventura, La Notte was the winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes. Unlike the other two above-mentioned films, Eclipse hasn't remained in as high esteem as it was once held.


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Critic Reviews for L'Eclisse

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (3)

  • An exhilarating slow dance of not-quite-colliding bodies.

    Aug 28, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Ennui and anxiety... pervades Antonioni's groundbreaking 1962 drama.

    Aug 27, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Retains a bleak and dreamlike tone that you won't find anywhere else.

    Aug 24, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The characters' emotional twilight is unsettlingly conveyed by this piece of celluloid mood music.

    Jul 31, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Vitti once again proves an ideal performer for Antonioni's thematics in what is probably her best role to date.

    Jul 31, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Anyone disenchanted with the vacuity of later Antonioni will find the seeds of their dissatisfaction well-rooted in the mannerism and facile anguish evident here.

    Jan 26, 2006

    Tony Rayns

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L'Eclisse

  • May 01, 2017
    The boldest film of Antonioni's informal trilogy in terms of language, as he makes choices that would normally and objectively be considered wrong but couldn't feel more right here, and he even uses some powerful symbolism to make us share the characters' dissatisfaction.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2012
    Deemed by Martin Scorsese as the 'boldest' film in Michelangelo Antonioni's trilogy of emotional isolation (the other two films being "L'Avventura" and "La Notte"), "L'Eclisse", especially in its final moments, has displayed just that and has also solidified, at least in my eyes, Antonioni's status as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Enhanced by Monica Vitti's powerfully disillusioning and mercurial performance as Vittoria and Alain Delon's animated turn as her overly passionate (but I doubt that this is the right term for his character) stockbroker of a lover named Piero, "L'Eclisse" is an exemplary depiction of the qualms of leading an ennui-ridden life in a materialistic world. As highlighted by the film's almost nauseating visualization of the stock market, Antonioni is eager in exposing the chaotic repercussions of money. But more importantly, I think that, more or less, the film is truly an ambitious meditation on loneliness. Throughout the film, we see Vittoria do all sorts of recreational things to alleviate her angst-ridden state of mind. From riding a plane, dancing in the tune of a native African music to chasing dogs, she has done it all. But still, empty she was. Along then came Piero, an aggressive, over-materialistic lad whose advances to Vittoria was first received with coldness, and then with passionate abandon. Both slightly cautious at first, they then began to have a series of brief romantic encounters that has neither meaning nor worth. In many ways, "L'Eclisse" is a thoroughly pessimistic view on modern romance and how it's just impossible to maintain one in a money-driven world. In its majority, the film is exclusive in its observation of Vittoria's alienation. But by the end of the film, by way of a conclusive montage that has a certain power only a few scenes from a select number of films can muster, Antonioni suddenly transfers the alienation from Vittoria to us, the viewers. By focusing mainly on a mundane street corner, its various trivialities and several 'alien' faces while completely removing Vittoria and even Piero from the whole picture, we ourselves are lost. 'Where have the characters gone?' 'Who are these people?' 'Where am I?' These are the questions that Antonioni has sparked within me as the montage kicks in. Through this striking sequence, Antonioni lets us feel that particular feeling of isolation and fear of not being able to perceive and interpret the things we're seeing. The resulting feeling, at least for me, is truly transcendent and somehow spine-chilling. As those final minutes play out, I was literally lost for words; I can't decipher the holistic meaning of the images because the scene, I believe, is really meant to be 'incommunicable'. Bar none, "L'Eclisse" is certainly one of the most emotionally and perceptively unique cinematic experiences of my life. 50 years after its creation, its themes are still supremely relevant. At the end of the day, I think it's either "L'Eclisse" is truly a timeless masterwork or our everyday living hasn't really changed that much after all. For me, I think it's a great combination of both. Despite of "L'Eclisse's" esoteric quality, it has an emotional and reflective appeal that transcends cinematic barriers. This is auteurism at its best.
    Ivan D Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2009
    <i>"I wish that I didn't love you, or that I loved you much more."</i> <CENTER><u>L'ECLISSE (1962)</u></CENTER> <b>Director:</b> Michelangelo Antonioni <b>Country:</b> Italy / France <b>Genre:</b> Drama / Romance <b>Length:</b> 125 minutes <CENTER><a href="http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww125/ElCochran90/?action=view¤t=Leclisse.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i712.photobucket.com/albums/ww125/ElCochran90/Leclisse.jpg" border="0" alt="Eclipse,Michelangelo Antonioni,Monica Vitti,Alain Delon"></a></CENTER> Michelangelo Antonioni is a romantic poet with a discreetly exuberant and varied nature. The final installment of the unofficial "Incomunicability Trilogy" is titled <i>L'eclisse</i>, where partial lightness is shown and a necessary psychological transformation is required. This time, a journey of epiphanies and self-discovery is the one provided, and although it is the worst part of the trilogy, it still belongs to the best Italian films ever made. The dramatic proportions of this masterpiece which tends to disguise its brilliance with a documentary filmic style is plagued with meaningful symbolisms and, alluding to the psychological characteristics that the characters may share with the dumbfounded audience, it is ultimately one of the most meaningful experiences within the history of cinema. Vittoria is a translator who has recently ended her engagement with her boyfriend, a writer named Ricardo. When she decides to visit her mother who is obsessed with the Stock Market, she meets the broker Piero in a day of crash, thus beginning a problematic relationship which main conflicts are originated from his selfless and materialistic personality. Michelangelo Antonioni was nominated for a Golden Palm that lost against Anselmo Duarte for his film <i>O Pagador de Promessas</i> (1962). However, he won the Jury Special Prize award which tied with Robert Bresson for his film <i>Procès de Jeanne d'Arc</i> (1962). <i>L'eclisse</i> is one of the most accurate and sensational depictions of the consequences caused by the loss of a person with which we share a strong emotional connection. It is also a direct criticism towards a society that bases its development in an awkward economy and a resulting capitalism. Monica Vitti is back for the third time, representing a person of unfulfilled dreams. Giant French star Alain Delon plays the role of a character who is divided in different, incongruent and contradictory layers. Man is shown as a being of psychologically compulsive necessities. Romance is interpreted as a vehicle of extreme sensations as weak as a thread. Clothes can be torn off, so can the soul. The character of Monica Vitti seems to be a combination of her two past roles in the trilogy. She is a delightful and emotionally versatile woman who can love passionately, yet a very weak and vulnerable person who desires for only one thing. Extreme emotions are needed for their own happiness. "I wish that I didn't love you, or that I loved you much more." She cannot be in the middle. Alain Delon's character, on the other hand, cares only for the time and money he lost when his car was stolen by a man who killed himself in an accident because of alcoholism. A monosyllabic relationship of catastrophic results is intrinsically promised through a masterful, urban cinematography and a hypnotic pace of mysterious stillness. Analyzing the context of the film is a highly rewarding and interesting epiphany. Piero's materialistic nature is utterly contrasted with the obsession and the complete human dependence towards the Stock Market. Moreover, it is revealed that a nuclear arms race has recently begun, thus allowing a documentary perspective to be used during the striking last eight minutes of <i>L'eclisse</i>. Such haunting sequence may be a direct reference to the upcoming catastrophe that not only the world is about to face, but Vittoria's character as well. Love has always been the ultimate motor in Antonioni's magnum opuses and this is no exception. Love is the lacking factor that ends up determining the emptiness of Vittoria's existence. This may lead to the conclusion that Antonioni has, once again, resorted to his tradition of transforming his stories into neverending cycles, which is, by itself, a much more catastrophic and scarier idea. Therefore, the film begins with the ending, where Vittoria is found in exactly the same situation she wanted to avoid. In fact, Piero and Riccardo may represent exactly the same character. One has materialistic priorities; the other one is dependent of his feelings and does not provide the proper love and responsability towards a strictly consolidated relationship, a conclusion that may be drawn from the clues we are provided, such as him following Vittoria despite the fact that their engagement is over. Even so, Vittoria seems to incarnate the type of woman that creates the illusion that finding the correct man is a humanly impossible task. It is obvious at this point that her problem goes beyond love; it scratches the realm of the recognition of personal shortcomings. <i>L'eclisse</i> is the most perfect conclusion for a trilogy which main topic is the inability of establishing an effective communication with a surrounding society. <i>L'avventura</i> (1960) ventured into the realm of love subjectivity. <i>La Notte</i> (1961) depicted a world of upper-class citizens and their insatiable thirst of superficial lust. <i>L'eclisse</i> suggests a beginning that involves self-reflection. It is a journey that invites to close a neverending cycle of perdition and to establish strong priorities that should allow us to handle our life in an easier way. We cannot control fate, that is, the will of God, but we can look at it with the correct and most mature eyes. Antonioni has ended a trilogy, yet he has not stopped expressing existentialist ideals. A very unique, symbolic masterpiece of unfathomable proportions and a gem that makes us part of a life circle of which we will never be able to get out of. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2008
    <b>The Eclipse</b><p>Okay, after reading my flixster buddies' comments about <i>L'Elisse</i>, I feel as if I must apologize in advance for what I'm about to say -- in general. <p> Yes, I admit it, I jumped into the trilogy with <i>La Notte</i>, which, if you've read my comments, you know I like. <p>Walter, I did not give up on this one -- I stuck it out. This being said, I'm that much the older, but, I fear, not much the wiser. <p> Off-topic. Kind of. You be the judge. Has anyone who's actually reading this, having slogged through the above mire, read Haruki Murakami's short story entitled "The Elephant Vanishes"? Well, if not, it's a story about balance, in part, and about proportion, in part, and about mystery, in part, and about individual interest -- again, in part. And it's probably about more, but it's just a wee bit outside of "fresh in my mind." I have a small-sized memory.<p> When an elephant suddenly disappears into proverbial thin air, what are we to think? I think some of us would think nothing. And for sure some of us would think something. And I truly believe that some of us would explore this phenomenon to the end of time, ala Fox Mulder. <p>If I'd have come to this third part of Antonioni's trilogy before seeing <i>La Notte</i>, I can pretty much guarantee you that I would not ever have seen <i>La Notte</i>. The personal interest angle would be nil. But since I saw <i>La Notte</i> first -- the middle section of the trilogy -- I decided to check out the hind quarters, as it were, of this particular elephant. <p> And what did I find? I found something lacking in all proportion to the middle. Something is out of whack with this part three installment. If you are going to do a trilogy -- and I never even saw the first film, as I've already said, so I apologize -- you should look for balance. Trust me, given my wholly biased perceived imbalance between part two and part three, I will not pursue, at my age, watching part one. Time is short, and precious. I actually learned this from watching <i>La Notte</i>. Believe it. Or not. <p>Anywaysies, as my buddy Allison might say, this particular capstone is shrunkenly lacking, compared to the middle part. No pun intended, this baby is so black-and-white that even the idea of mystery is stripped to the bone like the bleached white skeletons incorporating an elephant graveyard. But I digress. <p> But . . . <p>Still, I would go on, but I hope I've already made my point. This one is <b>very</b> disappointing, like the way I feel when I realize that vanishing an elephant is not so simple as digging a time-worthy Shawshankian tunnel under the elephant's cage. It's actually, perhaps, the elegant possibility of warping reality, time, and me -- the reader. But <i>L'Eclisse</i> hardly comes up to, hardly fulfills, that degree of possibility. I'm at the thinking-nothing-about-this-anymore stage, beginning right now as I stop typing. But what do I know? I'm no Fox Mulder. I'm certainly not even the half shadow of a Tia Leone.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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