Thursday, April 4, 2013

Criterion on Hulu: Umberto D. (1955)

Umberto D. movie poster
Umberto D. (1955) – Directed by Vittorio De Sica; Written by Cesare Zavattini and Vittorio De Sica; Cinematography by Aldo Graziati; Starring Carlo Battisti, Maria-Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Illeana Simova, Elena Rea and Memmo Carotenuto.

By Kenny Howell

Nobody tells a simple story better than Vittorio De Sica.

Umberto Ferrari is a retired former government worker that is finding out it is hard to live on his government pension. He fights to keep his apartment, but his evil landlady wants to kick him out so she can use it for prostitutes. Umberto battles his descent into poverty with his dog Filke, but the slow decline is unavoidable.

This is a heartbreaking movie, and probably one of the best Italian neorealist movies along with De Sica’s other masterpiece, The Bicycle Thieves. De Sica was a master at getting a lot from little, perfectly encapsulating the human experience with stories of normal men and women who can't seem to navigate the world they are in, no matter how hard they try.

Umberto D. is on Hulu as a part of the Criterion collection.

Rating: ****

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