I have never read L’Innocente by Gabriele D’Annunzio, but I regard Luchino Visconti‘s Italian film of it (1976) as worthwhile. It is a lush costume drama about Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini), a free-thinking aristocrat who falls in love with his betrayed wife (Laura Antonelli) a second time, or seems to. The man is ignoble and tortured, though. And Catholic Europe of yesteryear is also “enlightened” Europe of yesteryear.
Giannini is a manly actor of quiet power. Jennifer O’Neill, an American actress dubbed, gets the job done as Tullio’s mistress, but without any real charisma. Antonelli isn’t bad but lacks personality—without lacking a comely face and body, unclothed. Antonelli died in 2015. Anyone with a body as resplendent as hers deserves a serious and lasting marriage, which, alas, she didn’t have. Ironically, when he and his wife are naked in bed, Tullio is aiming for the triumph of marital sex, as it were.
(In Italian with English subtitles)
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