‘Journey to Italy’: When the heart doesn’t have its reasons

George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman portray an estranged couple killing time around the Bay of Naples in “Journey to Italy.”
George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman portray an estranged couple killing time around the Bay of Naples in “Journey to Italy.”Credit:

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JOURNEY TO ITALY

If “Before Midnight” put you in the mood for movies about romantic relationships on the rocks, don’t miss Roberto Rossellini’s heartbreaking 1954 meditation on the subject, “Journey to Italy,” playing this weekend at the Brattle Theatre. But you might not want to bring along someone you love, because you could end up leaving the theater alone.

Like Linklater’s “Midnight,” Rossellini’s film follows an estranged couple, the Joyces — Alex (an impeccably sad George Sanders) and Katherine (a wrenchingly bereaved Ingrid Bergman, Rossellini’s then-wife) — as they kill time in various spots around the Bay of Naples while awaiting the sale of a villa left to Alex by his fondly remembered, though not by him, Uncle Homer.

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