One Paragraph Movie Review: The Leopard
Two hundred and fifty-third film: Il Gattopardo, or ‘The Leopard’ in its native Italian. Impolitely long and undeniably gorgeous, this is an epic three-hour movie about the 19th-Century Italian unification, which I had to pause so I could look up the history of, which director Visconti definitely assumes viewers have a basic familiarity with. But that isn’t really a problem because the time Visconti saves explaining politics he spends giving landscape, architecture, incredible-looking people and absolutely astonishing costumes free reign to smack themselves into your eyeballs. The basic theme is in the weirdly-cast Burt Lancaster’s motto that “if we want everything to stay the same, everything must change”, which he apparently delivered — as he did all the lines — in English, dubbed later in Italian. Something about the film only getting funded properly if it included a Hollywood star, but WHATEVER, FROCKS. This, for someone not across the details of Garibaldi’s red shirts, is a movie about dresses, and they are excellent. Two and a half sweaty dancing handkerchiefs out of five.