La signora senza camille (The Lady Without Camelias). 1953. Italy/France. Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Screenplay by Antonioni, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Francesco Maselli, Pier Maria Pasinetti. With Lucia Bosé, Gino Cervi, Anna Carena. In Italian; English subtitles. 101 min.
Clara Manni (Lucia Bosé), a former shop girl turned movie starlet, becomes famous making trashy movies and marries a powerful producer she doesn’t love. Antonioni deftly explores female adoration and the audience expectation of perfection when none can truly be achieved. According to film lore, the role of Clara was originally intended for Gina Lollobrigida.