Umberto D. ★★★★

Since it's a proven fact that I'm a robot with no soul, the relationship between Umberto and Flike is actually the least affecting for me. However, this is a really, really dense film in the way De Sica layers the drama. The film has so many really tender moments outside of its central relationship: Maria washing and burning the ants away, her later moment grinding coffee and kicking the door closed. Umberto being eyed by Antonia's friends as he returns from the hospital (the way class is portrayed in this film is really something). His inability to ask a friend for money (the way De Sica frames the shot, having his mirrored, tortured reflection stare back at us), and his later tension about even raising his hand for money (his sin is pride—just look how he treats his visit to the hospital by suiting up). Not sure if this is me reading into it, but stunned by some of the way De Sica frames the war in a subtle ways. Umberto returns to his home only to see a blown out hole in the wall, and can we perhaps make something of the dog gas chamber? (the entire sequence feels like a concentration camp). So even if my tear ducts weren't working, I recognize a lot of the beauty and staggering qualities of this film.

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