Los Angeles Times - 04/10/1992
"...One of the key works of the modern cinema. A brilliantly conceived epic fable..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/05/1997
"...The movie leaps from one visual extravaganza to another....The movie is made with boundless energy..."
Los Angeles Times - 04/30/2004
"With its shimmering, beguilingly familiar Nino Rota score, Otello Martelli's ravishingly lighted black-and-white cinematography and its endless processions of the foolish, the grotesque, the jaded and the merely young and beautiful, LA DOLCE VITA is truly unforgettable."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/24/2004
"[A] peerless, protean act of visual choreography."
USA Today - 09/24/2004
"[T]his remains a mesmerizing spectacle with gonzo casting."
Premiere - 11/01/2004
"[A] piercing depiction of moral failure with a palpable sense of desolation at its core."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2004
"[Fellini] highlights the triviality and absurdity of a culture in which every banality uttered by a star obsesses the press..."
In Federico Fellini's seminal film LA DOLCE VITA, a three-hour masterpiece that shows one man's descent into "the sweet life" of debauchery, Marcello Mastroianni stars as eccentric journalist Marcello Rubini. On assignment to chronicle the lives of the rich and famous Italian aristocracy in a gossip column for a Roman newspaper, Marcello floats from one fabulous party to the next, meeting all varieties of beautiful, extravagant people. While he would never protest this seemingly ideal job, it makes him feel lonely and empty, and he stays up drinking and dancing night after night only to wake up each morning unbalanced and unfocused. The film follows Marcello's ups and downs in an episodic pattern in which each evening is a new story, a new adventure, a new dare, a new woman with whom to fall helplessly in love--but only for that night. Each morning the slate is wiped clean, and Fellini resets Marcello's score to zero. Sprinkled with religious images and gestures at salvation, LA DOLCE VITA is supreme in the beauty of its all-encompassing symbolism that is expressed through lavish sets, an alluring script, overemphasized physical movements, roller-coaster jazz music, and helpless emotions.
Director Federico Fellini's portrait of a hedonistic 20th century Rome centers on a handsome journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) in constant pursuit of the extravagant, the sensational, and the absurd, who works for a scandal sheet and becomes intimately involved with the decadent high-society individuals his publication so often maligns. The immoral lifestyles he witnesses nearly paralyze him with shock and outrage, yet he struggles with his complicity.
The film is set in Rome on the Via Veneto, which is the street in Rome that houses the city's most popular nightclubs and restaurants. In fact, the Via Veneto that appears in the film is a constructed set, not the real thing.
Fellini originally wanted to title the film 2000 YEARS AFTER CHRIST, to reflect Rome as a representation of Western culture that no longer valued Christianity and spirituality but was instead built on gossip, publicity, and hype.
Academy Awards: Best (Black-and-White) Costume Design.
Winner of the 1961 New York Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Director, Best (Original) Story and Screenplay.
The Republic Pictures Home Video version is mastered from the original film negative.