L'innocente

Directed by Luchino Visconti
Film Movement Classics
1976
129 Minutes
Italy, France
Italian
Romance, Drama, Classics
R

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.

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  • "[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."
    Vincent Canby, The New York TImes
  • "The new restoration here is absolutely gorgeous with the prototypically lavish production design one would expect from a Visconti masterpiece coming through with shocking crispness and texture thanks to this new restoration."
    Joshua Brunsting, Criterion Cast
  • "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."
    Richard Brody, The New Yorker
  • "[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."
    Time Out
  • "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. "
    Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
  • "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. "
    Jamie Rich, DVD Talk
  • "The Innocent is a fitting end to a glittering career. Perfectly acted, directed and shot."
    Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
  • "Like any "normal" nineteenth century male aristocrat, Tullio considers himself seemingly genetically consigned to being "in control", and part of L'Innocente's visceral impact is watching how quickly that illusion shatters once Tullio discovers there are several things he can't control, including the women in his life and his own emotions. This is another Visconti effort that is at least somewhat like The Leopard not just in its depiction of a historical milieu, but in the perhaps misleading distance that seems to exist between characters' facades and their inner worlds. Technical merits are generally solid, and L'Innocente comes Highly recommended."
    Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com
Official Selection
Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection
Sydney Film Festival
Official Selection
San Sebastian Film Festival
Official Selection
Toronto Int'l. Film Festival