Picks and Pans Review: The Immortal Bachelor

updated 05/05/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Those frothy melodramas that the Italians brew as readily as cappuccino can be richly engrossing, but this go-round is rather pale. Monica Vitti, on trial for the murder of her husband, Giancarlo Giannini, reveals the history of their stormy relationship through a series of flashbacks. There are predictable plot twists and a dubious denouement, and Giannini plays the lovable roué as if he's bored with the part, as well he should be. High-spirited and elegant as always, Vitti is clearly too glamorous for her role as a cleaning lady. Director Marcello Fondato elicits perhaps the best performance from Claudia Cardinale, nicely understated as a woman juror who finds the case inextricably linked to what's wrong with her own life. (In Italian with English subtitles) (Not rated)

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