8½

★★★

Everytime I watch one of these all-time classics and feel underwhelmed I can only think about the other films I’ve rated higher. I, while trying to lower these expectations, really wanted to fall in love with 8½. It seemed to have the meta self-awareness in its premise that would draw me in. I don’t think  is bad or mediocre by any means, nor did I struggle to find at least a couple things I sincerely appreciated. It just isn’t the masterpiece I hoped it to be, with it failing to really resonate with me. 12 Angry Men remains the reigning boomer movie, in my humble opinion.

What I did enjoy - when I wasn’t half-asleep - was the hyper-dramatic score paired with the dynamic direction when it counted. The introduction to our main character was the one part of the film that I thought was great; this scene being from 5:55 to 9:19 on the full movie copy posted on YouTube. It features Ride of the Valkyries in some pretty eye-catching visuals up to where the incredibly iconic Concertino alle terme is played at 8:09. So good. The part where the song freezes and Guido drops his glasseschef’s kiss

Otherwise, the only thing that held on for me were the themes on the filmmaking process. It stops right there though, as I wasn’t really captured by it and I didn’t get it enough to truly appreciate the film. It’s hard for me to sincerely enjoy this when I barely remember anything else that happened. Not any other moments stood out to me, so I guess I’ll give this is a proper rewatch down the line. I’m really dancing between a 6 or 7 out of 10 (between not even being able to finish it in one sitting versus its score, themes, and being a popular influence on Pulp Fiction). As far as Italian love-letter cinema goes, I’d recommend Cinema Paradiso instead.

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