|Juliet of the Spirits|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Federico Fellini|
|Produced by||Angelo Rizzoli|
|Screenplay by||Federico Fellini|
|Story by||Federico Fellini|
|Music by||Nino Rota|
|Cinematography||Gianni Di Venanzo|
|Edited by||Ruggero Mastroianni|
|144 minutes(Original Italian release)|
Juliet of the Spirits (Italian: Giulietta degli spiriti) is a 1965 Italian-French fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini and starring Giulietta Masina, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu, Valentina Cortese, and Valeska Gert. The film is about the visions, memories, and mysticism that help a middle-aged woman find the strength to leave her philandering husband. The film uses "caricatural types and dream situations to represent a psychic landscape." It was Fellini's first feature-length color film, but followed his use of color in The Temptation of Doctor Antonio episode in the portmanteau film Boccaccio '70 (1962). Juliet of the Spirits won the 1966 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Giulietta explores her subconscious and the odd lifestyle of her glamorous neighbour, Suzy, as she attempts to deal with her mundane life and her philandering oppressive husband, Giorgio. As she increasingly taps into her desires (and her demons) she slowly gains greater self-awareness, leading to independence, although, according to Masina (Fellini's wife), the ending's meaning is debatable.
Fellini's longtime musical collaborator Nino Rota composed the soundtrack. Until his death in 1979, Rota wrote the music for every Fellini film except his directorial debut, Variety Lights. The music in Juliet of the Spirits contains circus themes, as in Fellini's 8½, and also uses organ, cocktail piano, guitar, saxophones, and voices without words to convey Juliet's shifts in feeling. The soundtrack was mentioned in a profile of the actor Steve Buscemi, which notes that "a Victrola sits in [Buscemi's] dining room, with the theme music for 'Juliet of the Spirits' permanently on its turntable."
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 79% based on 28 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film's rerelease has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
In The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote of a revival in 2001: "Fellini went deliriously and brilliantly bananas with the color to create a rollicking through-the-looking-glass series of tableaus evoking a woman's troubled psyche."