Our Girl has been thinking about the Italian female movie stars straight from the Sicilian scene and thought it was only right to share her top 5 with us.
When I had the chance to meet Laetitia Casta in Milan, I asked her how she felt in the shoes of a Sicilian Girl, acting in the commercial of Pour Homme and Pour Femme by Dolce&Gabbana. She told me it was easy, because Sicilian women are pure femininity. After this little chat, I started thinking about great actress turned into Sicilian Girls for a movie. Here’s my top five.
1. Claudia Cardinale as Angelica in Il Gattopardo
No one can forget the final scene: a great ball, a wonderful Angelica dancing in a baroque gown that, years after, would be an inspiration for Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda.
Claudia Cardinale has told that the director Visconti made her “the greatest present of her artistic life” by giving her the role of Angelica. A young, beautiful girl, daughter of the burgoise mayor, living in a changing Sicily. Garibaldi, the new Italian kingdom and the end of Sicilian aristocracy are the frame of prince Tancredi’s love for Angelica.
2. Monica Bellucci as Malena
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, Monica Bellucci played with her body, her femininity and a few words. The Second World War is narrated through the life of Malena, left alone by her husband - went at front. Malena lives as a widow, as a bitch, as a Nazi’s protege, as a rejected. And, after all, she founds her place in her hometown again, with her husband returned from war. Monica’s walk through the square is one of the most famous in the world.
3. Stefania Sandrelli as Agnese in Sedotta e abbandonata
A young girl, Agnese, seduced by her sister’s fiancè, Peppino, in a sunny afternoon in Sciacca, my hometown. Agnese has become pregnant, Peppino has disappeared, Agnese’s father was desperate because of the shame: the whole plot deals with the family’s attempt to persuade Peppino - even with violence - to marry Agnese and make her an “honorable woman”. That was Sicily. In the end, Agnese refused to marry Peppino during the marriage, as symbol of rebellion. But when her father had an heart attack, Agnese agreed to marry Peppino.
4. Anna Magnani as Maddalena in Vulcano
Anna Magnani plays Maddalena, a former prostitute, who go back at her hometown, Vulcano, one of the Aeolian Island. Here she lives with her sister Maria who was pursued by a deep-sea diver. So Maddalena decides to help her by killing the man, closing his oxygen during an immersion. She will die, too, during the eruption of the Vucano.
This movie was shot at the same time of “Stromboli Terra di Dio”, directed by Rossellini, former lover of Anna Magnani, in Stromboli, another volcanic Aeolian island. The competition between the troupes was so strong that it was told as “volcanos’ war”.
5. Monica Vitti as Claudia in The Adventure
Anna and Sandro invites Claudia to a boat trip around Aeolian Island with some friends. The yacht stops at Lisca Bianca little island, where Anna suddendly disappears.
A storm is coming, all the people go back to the yatch but, of course, Claudia e Sandro keep on searching Anna on Lisca Bianca. She will never be rescued. But Sandro and Claudia fall in love each other and start a new life together, travelling all around Sicily. The first night spent in Taormina, they meet their boat fellows and Sandro cheat on Claudia with a writer. A love story, full of Sicilian passion.
Taking inspiration from my favourite leading ladies from Sicily
Each week Sicilian Girl will be giving us the chance to see more of the Sicilian way of life through her eyes and all you have to do is click below. Enjoy!