La Strada is often labelled as the first truly ‘Fellini-esque’ film. In terms of the tropes and stylistic trademarks it most certainly is. It’s a beautifully filmed picture, loaded with clowns and circus performers and carnivals and processions, bolstered by a gorgeously expressive performance by Giulietta Masina that would make Charlie Chaplin proud. Unfortunately, it’s also far too simplistic and fable-like for me to ever truly care about the film. Fellini is at his best when he truly embraces his characters head and shoulders, and yet many of these characters here – wonderfully acted though they are – feel more like symbols rather than humans, and in turn I never really connect with La Strada.