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Sunday, January 29, 2017

La Ciociara (aka Two Women) (1960)

Set in the last days of WWII, a young widow (Sophia Loren) and the daughter (Eleonora Brown) she dotes on leave Rome to escape the Allied bombing. They leave for the rural mountain province where the mother has family. But they can't escape the horrors of war, no matter where they go. Based on the novel by Alberto Moravia and directed by Vittorio De Sica. War movies that aim to show the horror that is war usually focus on the battlefield where we're treated to soldiers killing and being killed, stuff like ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. De Sica's film is about the innocents caught in the morass of a war they most likely didn't want in the first place and the mother and daughter's story packs a punch and brings it all painfully home. Loren, who won the best actress Oscar for her performance, was around 26 and younger than the character she's playing (Anna Magnani was originally cast) but she once and for all proved that she was more than just an international sex symbol. A poignant and devastating film experience. With Jean Paul Belmondo, Raf Vallone and Renato Salvatori. 

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