Adua e le compagne Review

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When their bordello is shut down, four prostitutes attempt to re-enter polite society by opening a restaurant.


Showered with prizes on its 1960 release, neorealist director Antonio Pietrangeli's study of four prostitutes seeking to escape from their sordid past by opening a country restaurant has since been largely forgotten. Yet it's hard to see why, as its blend of unforced realism and ensemble melodrama places it on a par with more celebrated outings such as Michelangelo Antonioni's Le Amiche.

Amid a superb jazz soundtrack, Simone Signoret and Emmanuelle Riva excel as the brassy brains of the operation and the remorseful neurotic desperate for a second chance, while Marcello Mastroianni contributes a cameo as Signoret's shifty admirer.

A neglected gem from one of Italian cinema's greatest talents.