Rocco and His Brothers

Rocco and His Brothers ★★★★½

100 FILMS IN ONE SUMMER 2022 - FILM #50

Despite the fact that it doesn't actually have a spot in the Criterion Collection yet, I've always grouped Rocco and His Brothers up with other Criterion-approved classics that I kept putting off for no real reason. Since today's movie was going to be my 50th movie of the summer, I wanted to pick something that was three hours long, and while Rocco and His Brothers was two minutes shy of that, I thought that it would be a good watch anyway. I've always had a feeling that this movie would be good, but that didn't stop Rocco and His Brothers from surprising me with how hooked I was from start to finish.

Although the Italian neorealism movement ended years before this film came out, Rocco and His Brothers feels right at home with the movies of that era by focusing on a poor family from Lucania trying to find a better life in Milan while also weaving that in with some really compelling melodrama. This is a sprawling and layered film that feels large in its scope while still only revolving around the Parondi family, as Rocco and His Brothers features a ton of complex characters with really interesting arcs that all intertwine in one way or another. Pretty much everyone in Rocco and His Brothers was perfectly cast, but I thought that what Alain Delon, Annie Girardot, and Renato Salvatori brought to the film was especially great. I still have a lot of other movies from the Italian neorealism movement that I need to see, but Rocco and His Brothers made me even more excited to check them out than I already was.

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