Billy Wilder Stephen Farber - Essay

Stephen Farber

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Wilder's] films have always exposed the deceptions of love; there are shadings in his romantic scenes. Still, Avanti! is, for him, an uncommonly tender and affectionate film. Although the central character is very sharply drawn, and although many incidental jokes—an Italian giving the Fascist salute to a visiting American statesman, a tracking shot past a group of nuns lined up to see Love Story—reveal his old acid touch, this film is less cruel than almost anything Wilder has done. It makes some nervous concessions to the audience, as Wilder's films usually have; a few inappropriately crude farcical scenes are signs of insecurity…. Gradually, however, Wilder finds his tone, and the movie takes...

(The entire section is 461 words.)