"Appassionata" tells the story of a family – the father is Dr. Emilio Rutelli (Gabriele Ferzetti), a dentist; the mother, Elisa (Valentina Cortese), a psychologically unstable woman; the daughter Eugenia (Ornella Muti), who feels attracted to her father and jealous of her mother, and finally Eugenia's friend, Nicola (Eleonora Giorgi), a girl who lives with her aunt – her father is a diplomat and hasn't time for her, and her mother...(?). Anyway, one day, Nicola goes to Dr. Emilio's practice and seduces him. Nicola needs love. And Eugenia, she will also try to catch her father in her net. Dr. Emilio feels puzzled, it is as if suddenly he were on a roller-coaster. As to the mother, the emotionally unbalanced Elisa – crises, the need to smile and a desire to cry?.
"Appassionata" has not the sleaze that some people may have imagined – but it is nonetheless a very sensual film. It has some sex and nudity scenes (taboo-breaking for their time) - the beautiful starlets Ornella Muti and Eleonora Giorgi were the main reason why I've ordered this film. But the film has more to offer than sleaze – there is an interesting story and good performances all around; besides the stunning Eleonora Giorgi and Ornella Muti, one should also mention particularly the very good performance of Valentina Cortese, as the mother on the verge of a breakdown.
The story in the film is not as well developed as it could have been, the film is somewhat irregular, but I've enjoyed it quite a bit. Well, I've seen "Appassionata" in the original Italian language, and that certainly makes a difference.