We All Loved Each Other So Much ★★★★

Until today, I had never seen an Ettore Scola film, assuming they were precursors to the kind of middelbrow European films Miramax released in the '90s. Well, I was off-base. WE ALL LOVED EACH OTHER SO MUCH is exhilarating until it isn't. It actually flirts with Oscar-bait "magic of cinema" tropes - I wonder if Nicola's (Steffano Sotta Flores) reenactment of BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN's Odessa steps scene gave Brian De Palma some ideas - but winds up making cinephilia, including its own references to Italian film from THE BICYCLE THIEF to Antonioni - look rather nerdy and pathetic. (Nicola's TV quiz show appearance answering film trivia would be cringe comedy if it were funny.) The film has several great moments - a cop mistaking the real Fellini, during this film's recreation of the LA DOLCE VITA shoot, for Rossellini is a terrific gag - but dialogue like "our generation is disgusting" and the air of middle-aged burnout speaks to an Italian cinema nearing the end of its period of greatness. Scola's playfulness becomes barbed.