okcordero’s review published on Letterboxd:
Letterboxd Season Challenge 2016-17: "Goldenen Bär Week"
A stunning and quietly depressing masterpiece by Antonioni. It reminded me of Before Midnight in the way it shows a marriage that's been on the skids for some time and that'll soon to reach its most logical conclusion (either divorce or otherwise) by showing it over the course of a day, but really it feels even more subliminal than that. Like the previous film in this trilogy, La notte's not driven by big plot moments or melodrama but by quiet character moments, interactions, and mood. Here it's more focused as the characters drift through their day and into the night with affection but without any passion for each other, going through the motions until they reach their respective points during the night where they can finally feel whole and human - both of which seem to revolve around Monica Vitti (which I don't blame either of them for tbh). It's slow and haunting and very depressing when you think about it, but it can't be helped when it feels so much like real life.
Apart from that, the film's just gorgeous - be it Antonioni's B&W cinematography, the dance scenes, or through the performances by the main cast, there's so much to admire about this film's look that it makes the story even better. While L'Avventura was equally good looking but was a bit too dreamy/drifted around a bit too much, this struck a great balance between the two. It's my favorite of the trilogy so far, and left me really looking forward to L'eclisse.