scottwiv’s review published on Letterboxd:
Fellini has created such a deeply personal and intimate melodrama here. It’s a semi-autobiographical movie about filmmaking, but what I was moved by the most emotionally here was the relationship between the protagonist and his wife, also largely inspired by Fellini’s personal life. These moments between the protagonist and his wife always were the most poignant and authentic, even though the depiction of writers block here is incredible and has never been portrayed better. While 8 ½ can be emotionally distant and cold at times, its technical prowess is unmatched even by today’s standards.
Fellini said that he hoped to convey the three levels "on which our minds live: the past, the present, and the conditional - the realm of fantasy.”
And that he did. As pretentious as the quote may sound, he accomplished his goal swiftly. While on surface level it may appear as just a film about writer’s block, it’s so much more than that. It was definitely apparent how this influenced so many of the movies I’ve seen, from the works of David Lynch to Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, which is extremely similar. I was worried going into this that it may be some pretentious trash, but it was a great time, and it’s over before you know it. A great first movie to introduce me to the filmography of Federico Fellini.