Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo di Vasco Pratolini. Scen.: Mario Missiroli, Valerio Zurlini. F.: Giuseppe Rotunno. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Flavio Mogherini. Mus.: Goffredo Petrassi. Int.: Marcello Mastroianni (Enrico), Jacques Perrin (Lorenzo), Valeria Ciangottini (Sandra), Salvo Randone (Sarocchi), Sylvie (nonna Casati), Serena Vergano (la suora), Marco Guglielmi (il medico di guardia), Miranda Campa (la padrona di casa di Enrico). Prod.: Goffredo Lombardo per Titanus-Metro 35mm. D.: 113’. Col.
The film does not take the easy route of simple sentiment, but instead proposes a calm contemplation of grief. Its most unusual characteristic, in total contrast with the predominance of the undefined and unspoken at that time, is the mature lucidity with which the director makes the narrator’s sentimental condition his own. In practical terms, the most difficult step is certainly the passage from the first person narration of the story to the third person of the film, from a Pratolini who writes ‘I’ to a Marcello Mastroianni who objectively brings him to life on the screen. The operation is successful also thanks to the contribution of this magnificent actor, who surprised everyone with an eclecticism unprecedented in the history of Italian cinema performances. From the amused and restless witness of La dolce vita to Il bell’Antonio and from the cynical and slightly distracted antique dealer in Petri’s L’assassino to the quirky Baron Cefalù in Divorzio all’italiana, Mastroianni seems committed to stretching every limit of his personality. But it is in Cronaca familiare, I believe, that we glimpse his most hidden side and his ability to expose, through his acting technique, the heart of a character.
Tullio Kezich, “La Settimana Incom Illustrata”, 14 October 1962