Reviewer: Jeffrey M Anderson
Ratings (out of five): ****
In 1974, Luchino Visconti was nearly seventy and had worked as a filmmaker for thirty years. He was in ill health and his most glorious films were behind him. When it came time to make Conversation Piece, which would become his second-to-last film, he needed something fairly simple to shoot, like something that took place in one building.
Having hit upon an idea, he called up some of his favorite actors, including Burt Lancaster, who had starred in Visconti's opulent masterpiece The Leopard (1963). The presence of Lancaster in a much smaller-scale Visconti production can only draw unfavorable comparisons. And, no, Conversation Piece is not nearly as impressive, ambitious, or powerful as The Leopard. But that doesn't make it a bad film.
Continue Reading The Conversation Piece (Gruppo di famiglia in un interno)