Best Movies by Farr

La Strada

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What's it About

This poignant film tracks the fraught relationship between boorish carnival strongman Zampano (Quinn) and his simple-minded assistant Gelsomina (Masina), a naïve innocent he buys from an impoverished family and cruelly mistreats — at least until a taunting circus clown (Basehart) intervenes, giving Gelsomina an opportunity for freedom.

Why we love it

One of Fellini's most enduring masterpieces, "La Strada" is achingly sad, and yet at times almost giddy, thanks to Fellini's feel for the transient, uncertain lives of traveling-circus performers (a lifelong interest of his). The film is further lifted by Masina's empathetic portrayal of the childlike Gelsomina, whose fragility and innocence are damaged — but never wholly erased — by Quinn's ignorant bullying. "La Strada" is a tragic but accessible film that will not fail to move even the hardest of hearts.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"