Federico Fellini was never likely to turn the story of Casanova into a standard period drama and the resulting film – sprawling over 155 interminable minutes – is quite unique in its heavily stylised visual form and its strange and deliberately un-erotic tone.
Fellini’s own dislike of the character means that Donald Sutherland is required to play the legendary lover as a ludicrous figure who only becomes sympathetic at the end when he attains a measure of self-realisation and is allowed to go off into the mists of history with a mechanical doll.
It was a trying experience for Sutherland, who had to wear extensive makeup and shave his head, but his performance, for all the grotesquerie, is ultimately very moving.
Adele Angela Lojodice
Clarissa Mary Rol
Prince of Brando
Hans van den Hoek
Duke of Würtemberg