Identification of a Woman (1982)

Identification of a Woman (1982)

A Story by Doug Ordunio

one of Antonioni's last films


Director: Michelangelo Antonioni


Antonioni has been known for making enigmatic movies, perhaps the two most famous being L’avventura  and Blow-Up. This was the last film he made on his own (at the age of 70) and the first he made in Italy since Red Desert in 1964.


The most striking thing about the movie is the visual language, particularly the usage of vertical lines, the vivid colors, costumes, and the usage of lights, especially when there are thin bars of light, doorways in the distance, picture frames, etc. Also, there is an importance of stairs.


The movie concerns Niccolo (Tomas Milian) and the affairs he has with two unusual women: Mavi (Daniela Silvero), a noblewoman and Ida (Christine Boisson), an actress.


At the opening, Niccolo arrives home very late at night and accidentally activates the burglar alarm at his apartment, sounding a noisy siren which could “raise the dead.”  Once he deactivates the device, he retrieves a phone message from his answering machine apparently from his young daughter who tells him not to forget the stamps he has been promising for a year. Then there is an anonymous call from a man who will not identify himself, but who wants to meet him for an appointment the following day. He keeps the appointment at an ice cream parlor and meets with a man who gives him a supposed warning but he doesn’t find out what it concerns.


She goes with him to an event where she meets a mysterious man whom we later find out thinks he is her father. Mavi takes him to a rather pretentious party at a large opulent residence. Niccolo finds the people shallow, and they stare at him because he is wearing a regular suit and tie. The other men are in tuxedos.


Mavi is very passionate with him, however Niccolo keeps a certain distance. He invites her to go with him to a house he has borrowed. It is a very dismal place, and on the way there, an incredible fog arises. She becomes upset because he begins to drive recklessly. They arrive back at the house, and she disappears.   He gives up on her, and returns home. He blames the man who gave him a warning for everything going wrong in his life. He is visited by his other sister and her son. (the boy who asked about the stamps).


He visits a public swimming pool where he meets a girl who finally admits she knows Mavi and that she was involved with her. Niccolo goes out to dinner with another friend, and he recognizes another woman who is an actress in a local play and is also an equestrian.  Eventually, he becomes involved with her (Ida).


A bouquet is delivered apparently to Mavi.  Ida investigates and finds it came from Mavi. Niccolo gets address and tries to visit her. He finds that she is now displaying her bisexual side. They see each other but do not talk.


Ida accepts his invitation to go to Venice to an isolated lagoon. Ida learns that she is pregnant, and asks Niccolo is he can love a child which is not his.  The film closes with Niccol™ walking up the same stairs. When he walks inside he fantasizes about his nephew’s suggestion that he direct a science-fiction film. We see images of what he sees as an asteroid which is a spaceship.


It’s a mysterious film by one of the world’s most unusual directors.

© 2011 Doug Ordunio

My Review

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A well written review that gives a this film a sense of mystery. I felt as if I watched parts of the movie itself while reading your words.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on November 18, 2011
Last Updated on November 19, 2011


Doug Ordunio
Doug Ordunio

Tujunga, CA

I have been writing for a little while-- Please read and you might be entertained. Please don't send me tons of read requests. If you must send one, make sure it's your best stuff. From me, you will.. more..