Umberto D - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Umberto D Reviews

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December 2, 2016
Even though I had already seen this film several times before, watching it again in 2016 left me speechless and deeply moved. Umberto D is a masterpiece of storytelling, of human drama, of everyday life. A remarkable and deeply affecting film.
November 6, 2016
This is another beautiful masterpiece from Vittorio De Sica that I originally saw may years ago but decided to revisit on Criterion Collection's gorgeous blu-ray. It's a simple story about a man and his beloved dog. He's extremely poor in post-war Italy, and the Italian government doesn't seem to care about the pensioners who don't seem to have enough money to get by. He tries to raise money any way he can to pay his back rent to avoid being evicted. The story simply follows him as he sells items and care for his dog. It sounds basic, but there's really a lot going on in this film, and it's elevated by the neo-realist style that De Sica incorporates. This is simply a must-watch film.
July 3, 2016
Vittorio DeSica's wonderful "Umberto D" was one of the last films of the Italian neo-realism movement and by far its best one. It is also one of my favorite movies ever.
The movie's premise is simple: it is a slice of the life of a poor lonely pensioner, Umberto. Throughout the movie, we see Umberto struggle to find money to pay rent to his horrible landlady, love his dog Flike, and deal with the loneliness and disillusionment of the postwar era.
"Umberto D" is a character-driven film. It works very well because of its sharp observations on loneliness and poignant gestures. The gestures evoke powerful feelings without necessitating dialogue. Many of the scenes, even the ones that do not necessarily advance the plot, are hypnotically beautiful in their simplicity. Take, for example, a beautiful scene where Umberto finally needs to beg for money but cannot physically bring himself to do it. He extends his palm up, but when a passer-by stops to give him money, Umberto quickly flips his hand over, as if testing for rain. The film is full of these small gestures that quietly emphasize the desperate loneliness and poignancy of Umberto's situation.
The acting in this film is absolutely superb. Carlo Battisti, despite having never acted before, is wonderful as the titular character; his face is a fascinating blend of stubborn dignity and weariness of life. Maria Pia-Casilio, who plays the maid, is just as good as evoking life's loneliness and quiet desperation. The supporting cast is also very strong.
One of the very few criticisms I have heard of this film is that it is too sentimental and borderline sappy. While some scenes with Umberto and his dog Flike are sentimental, never is it "too" sentimental. DeSica knows how far he can push his film without making it sappy, and he wisely shows it as it is. Nothing feels forced. The subject material itself and the simplicity in which it is presented will bring tears. (If you don't cry in this movie, you need to have your heart professionally de-thawed.) But "Umberto D" is never dumbed down into sappiness and clichéd corniness. It is a very powerful film.
"Umberto D" is the masterpiece of the Italian neo-realist era. It's a rather bleak and very realistic movie, but it makes some fascinating commentary on the human condition, specifically the loneliness we face. Highly, highly recommended.
May 15, 2016
This is the hardest I've ever cried during a movie.
March 27, 2016
Umberto D. is a flawed, but still a good movie. I found its first half to be incredibly slow and even dull and some aspects are exaggerated, but the film becomes so much better later on with such a fantastic second half with the finale in particular being great - moving, memorable and one of the best endings I've seen recently. The film is problematic at first, but becomes very relatable and heartwarming in the end with some excellent score, great cinematography and a big heart at its core.
February 26, 2016
When my History of Film professor showed my class this film I was at first skeptical of I would enjoy it. However I can now safely say that this has become one of my favorite films of all time. With a cast of unprofessional actors this movie is much more relatable then today's modern day films. The story is so compelling, that of an older man attempting to find a way to support himself and his dog after losing his pension, that it left me with a pit in my stomach towards the end of the film, due to just how connected you become to the characters. This is something no other film has ever made me feel, and I'd doubt ever will. For anyone interested in film history, majoring in film media, or just an average moviegoer, this is a film I believe everyone should see at least once, because of the pure emotion you feel radiating from the incredible acting and story.
Super Reviewer
½ February 20, 2016
Another neorealist masterpiece by master Vittorio de Sica, a truly heartfelt and unforgettable portrait of a poverty-stricken life in postwar Italy that avoids any sort of easy sentimentality and needs no effort to make us love and care about its struggling character.
February 10, 2016
An incredibly depressing slice of life film, Umberto D depicts a man named Umberto and his dog Flike living in post-war Italy. A depressing and largely hopeless story unfolds in which your heart breaks at every single point, almost to the point where you hold contempt for the film for making you go through this. The turmoil and emotional pain this film causes make you want to break through the screen and give Umberto a hug. Like damn. Overall, Umberto D is a masterful film from the Italian Neorealism and from director Vittorio De Sica.
½ December 2, 2015
I usually like Italian films from this era but this one never gripped me. It lacked the edge of the Bicycle Thieves or even La Strada.
½ October 17, 2015
I give this an -A( 93).
July 25, 2015
Brilliant and ahead of its time.
July 23, 2015
I can't believe that italian cinema was so powerful, they had so many great names and works. It's unbelievable today, when all these geniuses stayed in the past.
February 25, 2015
One of the great Italian Neorealist films. Like Bicycle Thieves, it tells a gentle story about gentle characters dealing with unfortunate problems. It also gives us one of the great onscreen friendships, Umberto and Flike the Dog.
½ December 29, 2014
The drama is expertly weighted, and extremely poignant. Umberto D is simple, but heart-breaking. 9/10.
½ December 21, 2014
Sad Italy and I didn't like the dogs name.
November 27, 2014
Simple and truely unforgettable movie. A true Italian neorealist classic. I believe its actually 1952 not 1955 as shown.
½ August 7, 2014
De Sica's at his best.
½ May 7, 2014
De Sica's story of re-affirmation of life from a bleak existence. It is about the struggle of an old man to keep from falling apart in acute financial crisis in post-war Italy. It is mostly a character-driven film and more is said through gestures than words in a minimalist framework. The part where the protagonist comes back from the verge and accepts life is just unforgettable.
March 5, 2014
Subtle and profoundly moving, "Umberto D." is both crushingly depressing and gloriously life-affirming in equal measure.
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