Taylor Williams’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think I have a much better sense of Antonioni after this one, patterns in his approach that carry over from L’Avventura but also aspects that retroactively carry over from later directors I’ve seen that he influenced, namely Edward Yang here. I was also reminded very much of La Dolce Vita, which only came out a year before this, for more reasons than just Mastroianni.
There’s the same modern existential dread as L’Avventura (much more modern here), but I actively felt it a lot more throughout this one, which makes the dialogue-heavy ending all the more painful. Maybe I was just too tired and depressed when I put on L’Avventura, whereas I was much more awake and attentive watching this. I will say, as much as watching emotionally distant and depressing movies is one of my favorite pastimes, the way Antonioni shoots kissing scenes is beyond emotionally distant and becomes actively uncomfortable. That’s the point and it’s very effective, but it does make me wonder how often I’ll want to put this on. Though I guess you don’t “put on” an art film. Or maybe you do, who am I to say. I do more than ever want to put on La Dolce Vita again, but it’s late and I believe I mentioned my too-rapidly-growing rewatch list last night.
Criterion Channel, which made me appreciate having the L’Avventura blu-ray and regret not having this one.