Il boom Screen 90 of 5 reviews

Il boom

1963

Il boom Poster
  • Bringing to life the Italian version of the saying “it cost me an arm and a leg,” the film is both horrifying and hilarious, showcasing satire at its most brutal. And though it may at first seem to be a departure from De Sica’s neorealist classics, the film was written by De Sica’s collaborator on those films, the incomparable Cesare Zavattini, and contains many of the same themes, with the humor and upbeat score making the film’s honesty all the more devastating.

  • Sordi’s 10-second reaction to the question is worth the price of admission. His characterization of Giovanni... is arguably the film’s strongest selling point. Not that De Sica’s directorial signature is absent. His portrait of a different aspect of the Italian early ’60s “dolce vita,” in which the entrepreneurial middle class rubs elbows with, and tries to wheel and deal with, the obscenely wealthy, is packed with trenchant observation and mordant wit.

  • Among the most savage and surreal of Italian comedies, starring one of the country’s biggest stars and directed by one of its legendary filmmakers, Vittorio De Sica’s Il Boom barely made a ripple when first released, in 1963, then sank so deep that it’s only now getting a proper release in the United States. Luckily for us, it has lost almost none of its bite.

  • It advances a shockingly brutal metaphor for the Sordi character’s need to maintain his wife’s luxurious lifestyle, as well as the demands of capitalism itself. While hardly The Bicycle Thief, also directed by De Sica from a Zavattini script, Il Boom is an unusually barbed example of thecommedia all’italiana. It also affords the pleasure of seeing Sordi dance the twist.

  • Well-aligned with Zavattini’s clever script, De Sica’s firm but unflashy direction, dismissed by many critics at the time as merely pedestrian, appears perfectly calibrated to hold the line between sentimentalised tragedy and social farce, providing an evenness of tone that is probably what disappointed many critics craving more visual pyrotechnics in a period when Italian cinema was itself “booming”.