Stay as You Are / Così come sei (1978)

3.0 out of 5

Still affecting in middle age, Marcello Mastroianni stars as an unhappilly married man who may, or may not, be sleeping with his daughter. Perhaps, as she is played by Natassia Kinski as a seething cauldron of passion, he can be excused. Director Alberto Lattuada avoids the obvious pitfalls of what could have been a one note story, and the possible incest angle is almost secondary to the portrayal of a flawed, troubled man.

The juxtaposition of Mastroianni's daughter and his lover is hardly subtle, and Kinski's need of a father figure is clumsily signposted, but the quality of the cast just about compensate. The two stars are excellent, and it is a real pity that Kinski's subsequent career never took off as much as it should. While coming at the tail end of his film making days, Lattuada's direction is not in the least exploitative, and supplies a sheen to what very easily could have been an 'issue' film.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics