Italy , France
Five short stories loosely dealing with the roles of women in society. A superstar actress travels to a mountain resort, only to evoke jealousy from women and lust from men. A woman offers to take an injured man to the hospital. A widowed father and his son seek for a new wife/mother. A man seeks revenge for a woman’s honor. A bored housewife tries to explain to her husband that he’s not as romantic as he used to be.
Returning to themes he first explored in La strada (1954), Fellini crafts a parable on the whisperings of the soul that only madmen and vagabonds are capable of hearing. The odd couple, Ivo Salvini (Benigni), a fake inspector of wells, and Gonnella (Villaggio), a former prefect, wander through the Emilia-Romagna countryside of Fellini’s childhood and discover a dystopia of television commercials, fascism, beauty pageants, rock music, Catholicism, and pagan ritual.
Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Federico Fellini’s second solo directorial effort (originally released in the U.S. as The Young and the Passionate) is a semiautobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches: Skirt chaser Fausto, forced to marry a girl he has impregnated; Alberto, the perpetual child; Leopoldo, a writer thirsting for fame; and Moraldo, the only member of the group troubled by a moral conscience. An international success and recipient of an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, I vitelloni compassionately details a year in the life of a group of small-town layabouts struggling to find meaning in their lives.