2022 Blind Spot Series - Bicycle Thieves
What I knew going in: That it's considered a cinematic masterpiece
In Post WWII Italy, Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) is given a job that requires him to have a bicycle. His wife ( Lianella Carell) goes to the trouble of buying back the bike, which she just recently sold so they could eat. While out on said job, the bike gets stolen, so Antonio and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) roam the streets trying to find the thief.
Italian neo-realism is a sub-genre that I haven't really dabbled in. Yet this year, I have two films on my Blind Spot list that fall into this category. Since this is the more famous of the two, it's where I decided to start.
True to the genre, it feels like we're dropped directly into poor working class Italy. Nothing about this film feels polished, and that's meant as a compliment. I found myself hoping for a happy ending that never came. I think the thing that surprised me the most was how depressing it was from start to finish.
None of the actors were professionals but they all fit into their parts well. Bruno was fun to watch, he felt more like a tiny adult than a child at times. That poor kid has had it rough. The real star of this film is director Vittorio De Sica. Considering he was shooting on location in busy streets with no professionals, he really got the most out of his cast and crew. It's an incredible accomplishment.