Senso Reviews

  • Nov 26, 2020

    High-class melodrama is not my favourite thing (and I think neither was Visconti's) but this is quite the captivating work with beautiful photography.

    High-class melodrama is not my favourite thing (and I think neither was Visconti's) but this is quite the captivating work with beautiful photography.

  • Sep 01, 2020

    1001 movies to see before you die. Something different than I have ever seen. It made me nostalgic for Austria and Italy. It shows the benefits and risks of love. Saw on HBO.

    1001 movies to see before you die. Something different than I have ever seen. It made me nostalgic for Austria and Italy. It shows the benefits and risks of love. Saw on HBO.

  • Oct 24, 2014

    It has some moments but Senso is ultimately devoid of likeability.

    It has some moments but Senso is ultimately devoid of likeability.

  • Dec 15, 2013

    An extravagant, sexy and ruthless portrayal of the self-destruction of the upper class, a theme repeatedly explored in Luchino Visconti's latter films. The incompatibility of Nationalism might, however, be less echoic to contemporary audience provided that Visconti's sympathy towards Socialism makes his other films more humanistic than this one. But still, Visconti's first attempt to transit to melodrama is affectionate and colourful.

    An extravagant, sexy and ruthless portrayal of the self-destruction of the upper class, a theme repeatedly explored in Luchino Visconti's latter films. The incompatibility of Nationalism might, however, be less echoic to contemporary audience provided that Visconti's sympathy towards Socialism makes his other films more humanistic than this one. But still, Visconti's first attempt to transit to melodrama is affectionate and colourful.

  • Oct 03, 2013

    Opens with a lush rendition of Il Trovatore at Teatro La Fenice, SENSO is an ostentatious melodrama imprinted with Visconti's pronounced blue blood opulence, retells an Italian countess' (Valli) vain and poignant attempt to pursue her one-sided affection to an Austrian officer (Granger shines in the rich Technicolor palette as an Adonis), whose misogyny and promiscuity will cause his own doom and mar her mentality up to the hilt. The film sets its time during the fall of Austrian occupation in Venezia 1866, Valli is wavering between her bureaucratic husband (Moog) and rioting cousin (Girotti), to break loose from the stalemate, she irrevocably falls for a young lieutenant in the opponent camp, but he is no knight in shining armor but a foul and spineless scoundrel with irresistible sheen of deadly charm. Granger's gorgeous loverboy image is a quintessential smokescreen to veil his despicable innards, but after all, it is a consensual deal despite of Valli's false hope, more significantly its anti-war signals have been forcibly cast by Granger's self-abandonment and the lousy war battlefield experienced by Girotti, which, more plausibly it is an intentional move by Visconti, a distraction from the central turmoil, but done with a tinge of amateurish fecklessness. Valle shoulders on a profound effort to scrutinize a woman's inscrutable sexual desire which being repressed for too long, both she and Granger align themselves with Visconti's brimful-of-emotion style (again, thanks to Techincolor and the overstuffed score as well) which approximate the OTT threshold in certain degree, although falling out with Visconti eventually, Granger succeeds in bringing about his best screen persona and it was such a great era when a gay man can play an outright straight womanizer on the celluloid. On the one hand SENSO fails to impress me as my favorite among Visconti's work of art, and scale-wise pales by comparison with LUDWIG (1972, 8/10) and THE LEOPARD (1963, 8/10), but on the other hand, only Visconti can flaunt such an overbearing melodrama with true mettle and without any compromise, a trendsetter would inspire later kindred spirits, for instance Baz Luhrmann's 3D adaption of the bourgeoise sumptuosity THE GREAT GATSBY (2013, 8/10).

    Opens with a lush rendition of Il Trovatore at Teatro La Fenice, SENSO is an ostentatious melodrama imprinted with Visconti's pronounced blue blood opulence, retells an Italian countess' (Valli) vain and poignant attempt to pursue her one-sided affection to an Austrian officer (Granger shines in the rich Technicolor palette as an Adonis), whose misogyny and promiscuity will cause his own doom and mar her mentality up to the hilt. The film sets its time during the fall of Austrian occupation in Venezia 1866, Valli is wavering between her bureaucratic husband (Moog) and rioting cousin (Girotti), to break loose from the stalemate, she irrevocably falls for a young lieutenant in the opponent camp, but he is no knight in shining armor but a foul and spineless scoundrel with irresistible sheen of deadly charm. Granger's gorgeous loverboy image is a quintessential smokescreen to veil his despicable innards, but after all, it is a consensual deal despite of Valli's false hope, more significantly its anti-war signals have been forcibly cast by Granger's self-abandonment and the lousy war battlefield experienced by Girotti, which, more plausibly it is an intentional move by Visconti, a distraction from the central turmoil, but done with a tinge of amateurish fecklessness. Valle shoulders on a profound effort to scrutinize a woman's inscrutable sexual desire which being repressed for too long, both she and Granger align themselves with Visconti's brimful-of-emotion style (again, thanks to Techincolor and the overstuffed score as well) which approximate the OTT threshold in certain degree, although falling out with Visconti eventually, Granger succeeds in bringing about his best screen persona and it was such a great era when a gay man can play an outright straight womanizer on the celluloid. On the one hand SENSO fails to impress me as my favorite among Visconti's work of art, and scale-wise pales by comparison with LUDWIG (1972, 8/10) and THE LEOPARD (1963, 8/10), but on the other hand, only Visconti can flaunt such an overbearing melodrama with true mettle and without any compromise, a trendsetter would inspire later kindred spirits, for instance Baz Luhrmann's 3D adaption of the bourgeoise sumptuosity THE GREAT GATSBY (2013, 8/10).

  • Sep 21, 2013

    Beautifully, perfectly done, but it failed to engage me on a visceral level. I have a great deal of respect for this movie, bit I will never be able to love it.

    Beautifully, perfectly done, but it failed to engage me on a visceral level. I have a great deal of respect for this movie, bit I will never be able to love it.

  • Sep 07, 2013

    A lush, visual masterpiece by Visconti, staring the Farley Granger in his prime!

    A lush, visual masterpiece by Visconti, staring the Farley Granger in his prime!

  • Apr 05, 2013

    Pretty good for a romance, despite being cliche (women with too much passion, men who are despicable, etc.). Still, when you start with a great scene in an opera house and continue to film the rest of the movie in a very thematic way, I can't help but compare it to some of the greats of the romantic genre like "Gone with the Wind" and "Doctor Zhivago".

    Pretty good for a romance, despite being cliche (women with too much passion, men who are despicable, etc.). Still, when you start with a great scene in an opera house and continue to film the rest of the movie in a very thematic way, I can't help but compare it to some of the greats of the romantic genre like "Gone with the Wind" and "Doctor Zhivago".

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    Sep 27, 2012

    "Senso" begins at the opera in Venice in 1866. During an intermission, a less than spontaneous demonstration breaks out in favor of Italian independence. Roberto Ussoni(Massimo Girotti) gets so carried away with exuberance that he challenges Franz Mahler(Farley Granger), a young Austrian officer, to a duel. Luckily for Roberto, his cousin Livia(Alida Valli) intercedes on his behalf, so he is only exiled for a year, like quite a few other of his comrades. But Livia's dealings with Franz do not end there, as her attraction grows despite the whole husband(Heinz Moog) thing. "Senso" is a sexy, deeply resonant and moving melodrama that contains a lot of interesting history. With some smart thoughts on occupation, this story is set at a pivotal time and place and made not that long after World War II. That being said, this is not and was probably never intended to be an Italian "Gone with the Wind." By comparison, "Senso" is much more intimate than epic in its exploration of a torrid love affair where more than one taboo is broken and the participants lose track of everything going on around them. While I normally have no problem with this sort of behavior, here it is clear that everybody has to decide which side they are on.

    "Senso" begins at the opera in Venice in 1866. During an intermission, a less than spontaneous demonstration breaks out in favor of Italian independence. Roberto Ussoni(Massimo Girotti) gets so carried away with exuberance that he challenges Franz Mahler(Farley Granger), a young Austrian officer, to a duel. Luckily for Roberto, his cousin Livia(Alida Valli) intercedes on his behalf, so he is only exiled for a year, like quite a few other of his comrades. But Livia's dealings with Franz do not end there, as her attraction grows despite the whole husband(Heinz Moog) thing. "Senso" is a sexy, deeply resonant and moving melodrama that contains a lot of interesting history. With some smart thoughts on occupation, this story is set at a pivotal time and place and made not that long after World War II. That being said, this is not and was probably never intended to be an Italian "Gone with the Wind." By comparison, "Senso" is much more intimate than epic in its exploration of a torrid love affair where more than one taboo is broken and the participants lose track of everything going on around them. While I normally have no problem with this sort of behavior, here it is clear that everybody has to decide which side they are on.

  • jay n Super Reviewer
    Sep 06, 2012

    A feast for the eyes this lush melodrama may be an acquired taste for some but I doubt anyone could say it wasn't visually stunning. Venice is rendered so beautifully you will want to hop the next flight there and with the composition of all the other scenes it is like watching a story take place inside of paintings. However as gorgeous as all that is it also can be distracting and take you out of the story as you study the detail which at times feels a bit surreal. Having only seen Alida Valli in her english language films where she often seemed stiff and ill at ease her performance here is quite a revelation. She is fully in command of the screen and her anguished turmoil is compelling to watch. Farley is not bad although his part really doesn't offer him more of a chance than to play a very handsome but contemptible bastard.

    A feast for the eyes this lush melodrama may be an acquired taste for some but I doubt anyone could say it wasn't visually stunning. Venice is rendered so beautifully you will want to hop the next flight there and with the composition of all the other scenes it is like watching a story take place inside of paintings. However as gorgeous as all that is it also can be distracting and take you out of the story as you study the detail which at times feels a bit surreal. Having only seen Alida Valli in her english language films where she often seemed stiff and ill at ease her performance here is quite a revelation. She is fully in command of the screen and her anguished turmoil is compelling to watch. Farley is not bad although his part really doesn't offer him more of a chance than to play a very handsome but contemptible bastard.