Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Adelina of Naples

Set in the poorer Naples of 1953, Adelina (Loren) supports her unemployed husband Carmine (Mastroianni) and child by selling black market cigarettes. When she doesn’t pay a fine, her furniture is to be repossessed. However her neighbors assist her by hiding the furniture. A lawyer who lives in the neighborhood advises Carmine that as the fine and furniture is in Adelina’s name, she will be imprisoned. However, Italian law stipulates that women cannot be imprisoned when pregnant or within six months after a pregnancy. As a result Adelina schemes to purposely stay pregnant. After seven children, Carmine is seriously exhausted and Adelina must make the choice of being impregnated by their mutual friend Pasquale (Aldo Giuffrè) or be incarcerated.

She finally chooses to be incarcerated, and the whole neighborhood gathers money to free her and petition for her pardon, which finally comes and she is reunited with her husband Carmine and the children.

Anna of Milan

Anna (Loren dressed by Christian Dior) is the wife of a mega-rich industrialist who has a lover named Renzo (Mastroianni). Whilst driving together in her husband’s Rolls-Royce, Anna must determine which is the most important to her happiness – Renzo or the Rolls. Renzo rethinks his infatuation with Anna when she expresses no concern when they nearly run over a child, and end up crashing the Rolls-Royce.

She is infuriated by the damage to her Rolls-Royce, and ends up getting another passing driver to take her home, leaving Renzo on the road.

Mara of Rome

Mara (Loren) works as a prostitute from her apartment, servicing a variety of high class clients including Augusto (Mastroianni), the wealthy, powerful and neurotic son of a Bologna industrialist.

Mara’s elderly neighbour’s grandson visiting them is a handsome and callow young man studying for the priesthood but not yet ordained who falls in love with Mara. To the shrieking dismay of his grandmother, the young man wishes to leave the clergy to be with Mara or to join the French Foreign Legion if Mara rejects him. Mara vows to set the young man on the path of righteousness back to the seminary and enlists the reluctant Augusto. Mara provides a strip tease at the climax of the film.

REVIEW:

Anthology pictures must have been all the rage in the early 60s because Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is yet another film from that period in film that follows the pattern. Of course none of that really matters when you have the drop dead gorgeous Sophia Loren, in her prime, as your star, now does it?

What is this about?

Screen icons Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni — each playing three different roles — team up for a trio of stories about sex and social mores in this Academy Award-winning Italian comedy.

What did I like?

Different trilogy. In these anthology films, the stories just seem to be random snippets that could have been full-length motion pictures, but instead became short segments. In this film’s case, that is still the formula, as these three segments have nothing to do with each other except for featuring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. That being said, they aren’t treated as 3 separate films, but rather one big picture with 3 parts and that is what makes this film different from it contemporaries.

Sophia. What is it about Italian women that makes them some of the most desirable in the world? Look at Monica Bellucci. That woman is perfection, but before her there was Sophia Loren. This woman not only oozes sex appeal, but she isn’t a bad actress, either. The first segment shows this to us in spades as she portrays a woman who must choose between her family (which is steadily growing) and prison. Not an easy role to take on, and she nails it only to be followed up by a couple of comedic roles, one of which culminates in a striptease that will leave your heart rate racing for days!

What didn’t I like?

Lost in translation. It isn’t that I dislike foreign film, but there is something that is lost in reading subtitles that an individual doesn’t get from actual context. For example, this film is supposed to be a comedy, but I don’t believe there was much laughter to be had. Is that me just not being the type to bust out laughing over every little thing? Perhaps, but it is also something in the deliver. This same film could be converted to English and the jokes would theoretically work better. It doesn’t help matters that Netflix said the audio was English.

Despicable characters. A good antagonist can make or break a story and these are some truly deplorable human beings. First, in the second segment, we have Sophia Loren playing a rich debutante who cares only for her material possessions. She makes this known where her male associate swerves out of the way, so as to not hit a kid, and runs into a tractor and she says she doesn’t care if he hit the kid. What kind of person says that?!? In the last segment, an old woman is so incensed that Loren’s character, a prostitute, is talking to her son that she all but has her kicked out of the building. Yes, they were just talking. Apparently, that was a huge crime!

All in all, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is a nice little picture, with plenty of eye candy from Loren. When it comes to the picture itself, though, I am intrigued what I would have thought had this been made without her as the lead as she is both a positive and negative for the picture. A great actress, but her looks and curves can be a bit distracting. Let’s get to it, shall we? Do I recommend this? Tough call, but I think I’ll say yes, especially if you’re into foreign films. For me, though, I think I’ll go hunt down some of Loren’s English-speaking roles.

3 out of 5 stars

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