A longer retrospective would certainly have included the famous Loren comedies De Sica shot in the '60s, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and Marriage Italian Style, though they're nothing special aside from her. The same can be said, I think, for TWO WOMEN (June 14 at 7 pm), for which Loren won the 1961 Best Actress Oscar. She plays a woman with a 12-year-old daughter experiencing the ravages of the Second World War, and she gives a fine — not a great — performance. But juxtaposed with De Sica's Neo-Realist films, Two Women seems both melodramatic and oddly lacking in dramatic force — plus, it's weighed down by the idiotic miscasting of Jean-Paul Belmondo as a virginal intellectual. De Sica didn't return to his previous heights until his penultimate film, THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS (June 7), a magnificent and elegiac work about the last days of the Jewish-Italian aristocracy, beginning with the passing of the racial laws in the mid '30s. The retrospective follows the arc of an extraordinary career, and it consists almost exclusively of high points.
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