Masina is virtually unknown by my generation, and Nights of Cabiria is tough to access in hard copy. The Criterion Collection re-released her previous film La Strada, but Nights of Cabiria has not received the same renaissance, even though it won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 1957 and Masina was awarded Best Actress in Cannes in 1957. The real-life wife of Fellini for fifty years, she starred in many of his films, including Ginger and Fred and Juliet of the Spirits. But no other film than Nights of Cabiria captures Masina’s humorous and dramatic chops, her noodly physical comedy and obstinate resilience, the dogged determination of a character who steadfastly chooses to be an optimist despite all evidence to react otherwise, a comic actress who complicates the genre and the idiotic binary question of Women: Funny or Not?
I need to re-watch this one.