Dissatisfied with her effete fiancé, Riccardo (Rabal), gorgeous young Vittoria (Vitti) breaks off their engagement without articulating exactly what has caused her sudden change of heart. Before long, she's pursued by an acquaintance of her mother's, cocky Roman stockbroker Piero (Delon). Vittoria resists his advances at first, and then embarks on a giddy, passionate love affair that's clouded by her mysterious ambivalence.
This meticulously composed, at times breathtakingly abstract drama provides another variation on the Italian maestro's central preoccupation with the early '60s: the tenuousness of human connection. Vitti, his oft-appearing muse, never looked more radiant or alluring, a quality that makes her recoiling from physical affection even more puzzling and alienating. Delon, perhaps the handsomest French film icon of all time, is winning as Piero, a confident young buck who knows how to make money at the exchange but fails to fully possess Vittoria. Beautifully stylized and ambiguous, "L'Eclisse" casts a chilly eye on the nature of love and attachment.