If it has not happened yet, count on your heart coming out victorious at least once in a wrestling match with your brain. Many of us have experienced that one relationship where we know it is not the best for our mental health (sometimes physical health), but our heart has already bought the ticket for the ride. I can remember being in a relationship where the good times overshadowed the uncomfortable moments. It felt like I was sitting outside and watching the most spectacular fireworks display, yet I was shivering from the cool night breezes. The explosions of color aka my heart, kept me seated even though the wind aka my brain, was telling me to go inside. It happens to all of us, but maybe not as dramatically as it did with the La Contessa Livia Serpieri. Played by Alida Valli (Eyes Without a Face, The Third Man), the Contessa Serpieri lived in Venice Italy during the mid 1800’s when the area was under Austrian occupation. Trying to help her resistance fighter cousin; she set up an introduction to meet Austrian Lieutenant Franz Mahler, played by Farley Granger (Rope, Strangers on a Train). The meeting would set in motion forces that would jeopardize family, friends and even the very existence of Venice. This historical drama was a lush, musical movie to watch. Filmed in 1954 there was a different sensibility back then, where the actors exuded a more physical display of emotions. It almost appeared as if they were overacting. Keeping that in mind, it made sense since the sets were so voluptuous and abundant. In addition, filling the musical soundtrack with pieces by Giuseppe Verdi and Anton Bruckner; I felt I was in the middle of a grand opera, set in the beautiful city of Venice. For some this movie may seem way over the top; but to me, it was obvious this film was made from the heart. Italian and German with English subtitles.
3 stars — DVD