Fellini's Casanova

Fellini's Casanova ★★½

"A man who never speaks ill of women does not love them. For to understand them and to love them one must suffer at their hands. Then and only then can you find happiness at the lips of your beloved."

In spite of a very good performance from Donald Sutherland (as usual) and some eye-engaging directorial work from Federico Fellini (as usual), Fellini's Casanova never quite felt like it came from a place of wanting to have some sort of respect or understanding for neither the character of nor real man Casanova--which makes sense considering Fellini himself had a lack of respect for the real-life person. At times it's compelling, but a large majority of this picture just felt so hollow and superficial to me--I never got a real good sense of who this person was or what he enjoyed (besides women and sex) and what he wanted out of life (besides women and sex) and the things that made him a complex individual (besides women and sex). The costumes and set pieces of this film were quite engaging, but the characters were not.