Despite feeling disconnected from the narrative and characters at the outset this film gradually and subtly captivated me, reaching its crescendo at the mournful conclusion. Giuletta Masina and Anthony Quinn both turn in very different but equally soulful performances, and the direction and cinematography are both exemplary. This is my first Fellini and after this I'm excited to explore him further!
An astonishingly modern masterwork of silent cinema. Renee Falconetti's defining performance here lives up to the hype; it is one of the most purely accomplished I've had the privilege of witnessing. Her incredible ability to convey emotion often using nothing but her facial expressions, combined with Dreyer's innovative utilization of close-ups and low-angle shots, creates a singularly claustrophobic and overwhelming experience.