Daniel Kibbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
A self-reflecting, involving tour de force, with impeccable camerawork. Marcello Mastroianni is perfect as the lying, cheating, and very complicated director that is Guido Anselmi. The screenplay is brilliantly poetic and poignant. While there is really no central force driving the film forward (other than Guido's film), 8 1/2 remains incredibly captivating throughout its 2+ hour runtime. The cinematography is simply some of the greatest - the camera movements and excellent lighting evoke a stellar mixture of reality and dream, as the central character begins to recede into his own mind. It's a looker for sure.
The film takes on its self-reflexive stance with confidence, holding up to surface viewing as well as scrutiny. There's a lot to unpack, but ultimately, Fellini's film is a celebration of something he loves, and something that he can't escape from. Cinema is the focus, and 8 1/2 does it incredible justice as an art form.
If I had to pick my mind for a single gripe, it would be the dubbed audio. However, this criticism hardly lands, as its more due to a personal distaste, rather than being a fault of the film or filmmaker. It's how it was done back then, and it does add some odd charm to the dialogue... sometimes. It's easy enough to look past.
Shamefully, this is my first Fellini film, but I think I'm going to end up liking this guy.