One of Italian cinema’s most effective tear-jerkers
A provocatory question: would you recommend The Exorcist to an unrepentant coward? The point being: some films work primarily on extreme emotions, and as such are not suitable for everyone. In a certain sense they are niche films. La bellissima estate is the perfect prototype of a film made to provoke a flood of tears, with its young protagonist who suffers for a variety of reasons: a family he believes is about to be broken apart, peers who exclude him because he is rich, the discovery of the death of his father, the tragic finale. All packaged together with wonderful direction, as ought to be the case with any self-respecting tear-jerker, and this film is an exceptionally respectable one.
An industrialist with a passion for motor-racing dies during a race. His widow, on holiday in Versilia, keeps the tragedy hidden from their young son, who suspects that his parents are heading for a divorce. The discovery of the truth will have adverse consequences for the young boy.