Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Poem from “To Rome With Love”

posted by Nell Minow

In Woody Allen’s new film, To Rome With Love, characters describe an “Ozymandian melancholy.”  That is a reference to the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  It is the story of a man who describes an enormous ancient statue that is all broken and decayed.  Hundreds, maybe thousands of years before, an arrogant king had the statue erected to show that his power and fame would never die.  But today, he is not even remembered.  The “Ozymandian melancholy” refers to the sense that all accomplishment, all happiness, all existence is fleeting.  Setting the film in a city that is filled with ancient artifacts underscores this theme.



I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc

    Many thanks for your very useful explanation, which gives the key to the movie.

    • Nell Minow

      My pleasure, Marc!

  • Rica

    Its good to know about it, now I barely understood it. I love Ozymandias for a name, I just wonder how to pronounce it.


    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Rica! It’s Ozzie-mun-dee-us

Previous Posts

Trailer: the Jesse Owens Story, "Race"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"] Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons, Carice van Houten, Shanice Banton, and William Hurt star in this film about Jesse Owens, who defied ...

posted 2:31:22pm Oct. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Lucky Dog
We are delighted to share an exclusive clip from a new family film, Lucky Dog, available today on VOD, Amazon streaming, and iTunes. [jwvideo vid='u6QJi0da' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Lucky (David DeLuise) and Amy (Cat Deely) are dogs in puppy love! ...

posted 10:45:58am Oct. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: "Hail, Caesar!" from the Coen Brothers
[youtube][/youtube] I don't just want to see this movie. I want to see all the movies that they are making in it. With Channing Tatum as a Gene Kelly-style dancer in a sailor's uniform, George ...

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 13, 2015 | read full post »

A Look at Remakes (And Not All of Them Are Terrible)
The blogger behind Phyllis Loves Classic Movies held an invitational blogathon on a subject many people have strong feelings about: remakes. Phyllis herself took on one, or I should say, two of my favorites: "My Favorite Wife" with Irene Dunne ...

posted 2:19:00pm Oct. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Celebrate Columbus Day!
Christopher Columbus has not yet had the movie he deserves, but I prefer the Fredric March version to the later movies.  And I recommend a brilliant and completely engrossing biography from biographer Laurence Bergreen called Columbus: The Four ...

posted 8:00:30am Oct. 12, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.