8½

★★★½

"The Beautiful Confusion" indeed. This might be the film that does the best job in making you feel like you are our protagonist in an existential nightmare, one about expectations and fame with a palpable urgency and relentless pacing. In this way the film can be exhausting and uncomfortable, it succeeds in its meta-ness by calling out its faults to its filmmaker character in a way that feels preemptive to critics of the very film they are watching.

It is a bit overstuffed and not without misogyny, pretentiousness, which is perhaps all purposeful in its execution, but still feels like it is falsely elevating the role of filmmaker to playing God and demanding empathy in a way that's a little too pathetic. I get that making art is hard process that requires personal reflection, but I'm not sure I needed to hear about it from a famously celebrated filmmaker for more than 2 hours. Maybe 8 films were enough if this is the torment you’re feeling about the process and Fellini could consider using his cache to help produce a film from an up and comer who would jump at the chance to overcome the stresses of filmmaking to have a chance to tell their story.

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