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Review of 1900
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A classic

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To watch this movie is like taking part in a marathon. Indeed, I watched the 5 hours version and I'm pretty sure I have never seen such a long movie before but it didn't bother me. You don't get everyday the opportunity to watch such a epic movie on a mainstream channel. However, what did bother me is that they didn't broadcast the original Italian version but an English dubbeb version. It did ruin the movie for me, above all, with Gérard Depardieu who obviously didn't dub his voice in English. Anyway, let's get back to the movie itself. It is a great epic about Italy but I don't think it was historically accurate whatsoever. It is more a poetic study about the class struggle and it is rather over the top and quite theatrical but I didn't bother me. Basically, the rich ruling class is divided in two. On one hand, you have Ottavio (the uncle) who is frivolous, decadent and spoiled. On the other hand, you have Giovanni (the father) who exploits the farmer workers, don't care about their needs and eventually turns to the Fascists to make sure his interests are protected. The fascists are represented by Attila (Donald Sutherland) who is mean, vicious, psychotic and megalomaniac. Alfredo (Robert de Niro) is first attracted by the life style of his uncle but when his father dies, he just becomes a landowner like any other landwoner. Even though he despises the fascists, he never stands against them and it eventually costs him his marriage and his friendship with his best friend, Olmo (Gérard Depardieu). The farmers are portrayed here as simple people but the movie is more positive about them as they struggle to improve their condition of life, turning to Communism in the process. Robert de Niro, here at the beginning of this career, has a thankless job since he has to portray a coward and weak man, instead of the tough guys were are used to see him play. He does a great job but I was even more impressed by Gérad Depardieu. He completely disappears behind the character and gives an awesome performance, full of fire and passion. Honestly, it was just grand to see the greatest American actor and the greatest French actor together in a movie and both of them on top of their game. So, I really enjoyed this movie but it remains an acquired taste (Roger Ebert, for example, found it was really disappointing). Anyway, I thought it was a fascinating picture and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Italian cinema.

Added by johanlefourbe 3 years ago
on 30 August 2011 07:42

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