Monday, November 21, 2011

Home for the Holidays: Antonioni's Identification of a Woman from Criterion (1982)***1/2


Winner of a special 35th Anniversary Prize at Cannes, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Identification of a Woman from 1982 represented a homecoming of sorts. After 15 years of globetrotting international productions, the esteemed director returned to his Roman roots to film this relatively simple tale of desire and discontent in the professional class. Spartan and straightforward, Identification of a Woman contains none of the political symbolism or glacially paced metaphors of the early 1960s films that made Antonioni an art house darling. His script seeks to paint a clear portrait of disaffection without losing his viewers in oblique angles or thickly applied textures. Despite offering no compelling resolutions or lofty observations on the plight of its characters, the presentation feels complete and satisfying.