From IMDb’s Top 250 list, La Dolce Vita is # 246.
A classic Italian film from the 60s directed by Frederico Felini, this movie follows his characteristic, off-beat depth and if you are willing to sit through three hours of sub-titles (for those of us who do not speak Italian fluently), it is an acutely layered satire on the “sweet life” of aristocracy and the famous archetype of that era.
We follow a journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) through a week of “fun” which although at first enticing, Felini portrays this upper-class society as entirely devoid of substance.
The movie is much longer than needed and in Felini-style, it has many flat moments that are at the least, tedious to work through as the watcher is already struggling with the sub-titles. It could have been edited down to a third of its length leaving it much easier to sit through. Then again, the movie is a statement, not an opportunity to simply entertain.
I watched this movie a few nights ago and have wrestled with the thought of whether to recommend this or not. I would not say that it is a favourite, but I would say it is worth watching when you are not looking for a thrilling movie, or one full of laughs. The movie has haunted me the last few days as I reflect on the journalist’s struggle within himself and what society was seen as in the 1960s by Felini. For that reason alone, I recommend it.. it stayed with me as I have come back to think about the reasoning of certain scenes, the characters that Felini wove into the story and to me, this says a lot about whether to watch this movie or not. This is a movie to watch when you are in the mood for a more artistic-movie that requires retrospect and one which you can get through the flatter moments of.