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Review: A special day (1977)

Director: | 110 minutes | | Actors: , , , , , , , , ,

Antonietta has six children and is married to the rude Emanuele (John Vernon). She stays home tidying up and tidying up little more than a apron, while her husband and children attend the festive military parade in town in their fascist uniforms. She refreshes the food of the beo and before she realizes it has flown out the window and is sitting on the windowsill across the street from the large apartment building.

Antonietta tries in vain to attract the attention of her unfamiliar neighbor and therefore decides to ring the bell. He helps her catch the bird and they start talking. As the day goes on, Antonietta becomes more and more drawn to the gentle and culturally evolved Gabriele and Gabriele brightens up with Antonietta’s presence that takes him out of his social isolation. They carefully try to get to know each other, but are hindered by the all too curious and gossip-sick janitor (Françoise Berd) who spies on them like a hawk.

The is full of beautiful scenes. The resigned routine with which Antonietta walks around the apartment to wake up each of her children and help prepare for the big day is lifelike and beautifully played out. It is funny and moving when, to Antonietta’s surprise, Gabriele suddenly starts to dance the rumba by following the footsteps depicted on his floor and she allows herself to be carried away by his enthusiasm.

It is also nice that throughout the film, the live report of the military parade can be heard from loudspeakers and radios and that the scene is limited to the apartment building. The claustrophobia of Antonietta’s life as a diligent mother and submissive wife and that of Gabriele, who is in serious danger as a homosexual under the fascist regime, is beautifully symbolized in this way. The interplay of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni is funny, moving and very believable.

‘Una giornata particolare’ is a wonderful drama about two people who are opposites in every way, but who accept the other in complete honesty just as he or she is.

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