"Roberto Rossellini's finest fiction film (1953, 84 min.), and unmistakably one of the great achievements of the art. Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders play a long-married British couple grown restless and uncommunicative. On a trip to Italy to dispose of a piece of property, they find their boredom thrown into relief by the Mediterranean landscape--its vitality (Naples) and its desolation (Pompeii). But suddenly, in one of the moments that only Rossellini can film, something lights inside them, and their love is renewed as a bond of the spirit. A crucial work, truthful and mysterious."
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"Some films have to be seen to be believed: the secret of this most beautiful and magical of films is 'nothing happens'. From the slight tale of a bored English couple holidaying in Italy, Rossellini builds a magnificently passionate story of cruelty and cynicism swirling into a renewal of love: life is so short, we must make the most of it... Rarely has screen chemistry worked so indefinably well; Sanders' suave, caddish businessman superbly complements Bergman's Garbo-like presence and the sensuous locations in which they feel so ill at ease. And though critics may have always praised it as 'one of the most beautiful films ever made', its genuinely romantic tenderness (it ends in 'I love you') mark it as never so unfashionable, never so moving. "