I would much rather wait to write about this one until I’ve had more time with it, and preferably another couple of watches. It’s not particularly complicated, and yet it’s about an awful lot – labor, sacrifice, political philosophy, spirituality, society, redemption, and most of all, love. Not romantic love, but love of humanity itself and especially the less fortunate.
Irene (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband George are wealthy, and despite surviving the trauma of WWII, they don’t have too much to worry about – their biggest worry is their 10-year-old son Michel, who’s bored and lonely in their palatial home. They don’t pay him a lot of attention, but when he’s injured and dies (not really spoilers, that’s in the first fifteen minutes or so), Irene undergoes a massive change of heart. She spends more time with George’s cousin Andrea (a man), a doctor. Andrea introduces her to some of the city’s underserved, and what begins as a simple monetary exchange (Irene offers to pay for a child’s medicine) ends with her drawn deeper and deeper into service.