Vittorio De Sica Vernon Young - Essay

Vernon Young

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Umberto D.] may easily be construed as an artless and unbuttered slice of life, a testimony of "naturalism": ostensibly a method of expressing reality without inhibition, without overtones and as far as possible without style. Nothing could be further from the case. Like Shoe Shine or Bicycle Thief, and with justification even more subtle, De Sica's Umberto D.—a masterpiece of compassion …—might be termed super-naturalism if this compound had not been preempted for another kind of experience entirely. The fidelity of De Sica's attention to the plight of the man, Umberto, realistic in its living details, is enriched by a host of modulations working under and through the story...

(The entire section is 976 words.)