ANTONELLA DELLA PORTA
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
VITTORIO DE SICA
Pure Italian passion and melodrama at its finest, which is backed with depth and intelligence, Two Women features a blistering, sensual, and powerful lead performance from Sophia Loren.
Based during the last days of WWII, Two Women stars Sophia Loren as Cesira, a shop keeper who –along with her 13 year old daughter Rosetta (Eleonora Brown)- leaves the daily allied bombings of Rome for peace in her home village.
Protecting her daughter from the advances of undesirable men, Cesira tries to raise Rosetta to be a woman of respect and tradition, while also fighting off the advances of a young idealist named Michele (Jean-Paul Belmondo).
However, it does not take long for the war to reach her village, and for tragedy to come along with it.
Portraying a single mother whose sole obligation is to protect her daughter, Loren inhabits her character with strength, independence, and sexuality. As her daughter, Eleonora Brown is equally convincing as a symbol of innocence defiled by the war around her. French actor Jean Paul-Belmondo is also very good as the cynical, snobby intellectual Michele.
Director Vittorio De Sica does a great job drawing out these raw emotions from his actors, while also providing a strong commentary on the brutality of man. This is especially felt during the films tragic final act, which is captured magnificently in the closing image of a mother consulting her daughter.