Gabrielle d'Annunzio’s passionate novel is brought to life in the final masterpiece from acclaimed director Luchino Visconti. In late-nineteenth century Italy, Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini), an insatiable aristocrat, grows bored with his timid wife Giuliana (Laura Antonelli) and neglects her for his more exciting mistress, the wealthy widow Countess Teresa Raffo (Jennifer O'Neill). After learning that Giuliana is having a torrid affair of her own, he becomes tormented by her infidelity and descends into madness.
Reframing L’Innocente video essay by author Ivo Blom
- "[L'innocente is] among the most beautiful and severely disciplined films [Visconti] has ever made. "The Innocent" is also one of Visconti's most terse, most dramatically economical films. There's not a superfluous frame in it. Further, it is splendidly performed by Mr. Giannini... and by Miss Antonelli, whose childlike face and voluptuous body combine to form a kind of ideograph that tells us what the film is all about. "The Innocent,"... is a fitting coda to the Visconti career. It's a film of effortless command in which the director's presence is everywhere felt — and nowhere intrudes."
- "The lavish, colorful depictions of stately villas with their sumptuous furnishings and immortal art work and the characters’ exquisite attire are matched by the director’s carnal delight in the beautiful people themselves. He films Giannini, Antonelli, and O’Neill with a rapt tenderness, capturing their exchanges of glances across crowded rooms or empty space with closeups of a rare magnetic power. These ravishing images are matched by the mellifluous, modulated voices that pour out grief in lofty and delicate phrases—and conceal, with the same rhetorical flourishes, deeply calculated machinations of an imperial cruelty."
- "[A] worthy finale to a distinguished career. It has a great performance from Laura Antonelli as the wife, and excellent ones from Giannini and Jennifer O'Neill as husband and lover."
- "The well-acted (especially by Antonelli), elegant and restrained film is a sumptuous work that has great sets, a good eye for period detail and colorful costumes. "
- "Another calculated and sophisticated tale of hypocritical aristocracy from Luchino Visconti, the 1976 film L'Innocente ends up finishing out the late director's career in a manner that plays to his strengths. At once bold and restrained, hot blooded in the bedroom but cold blooded everywhere else, L'Innocente is a steamy tale of passion and denial. It displays the director's mannered style and love of opulent detail, and also has excellent performances from Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, and Jennifer O'Neill. "
- "The Innocent is a fitting end to a glittering career. Perfectly acted, directed and shot."
Awards & Recognition
Cannes Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
San Sebastian Film Festival
Toronto Int'l. Film Festival