And Johansson, always a likable and fully alive presence, is extraordinary here. She appears to be all eyes, not just undressing her male victims with her gaze but virtually peeling their skin away. She's spooky and erotic, a girl who fell to Earth and decided that she might like to stay.

* * *

I write this on my last night in Venice, a place that always makes me wistful, especially right before I have to leave: I'm always homesick for it in advance. A few evenings ago I was crossing Piazza San Marco, a space so gorgeous and otherworldly that not even hordes of tourists can diminish its magic, when I heard a song that I love, being played by one of the mini-orchestras set up outside the cafés that dot the perimeter of the square. I usually don't pay these musicians much mind; it's tourist stuff, your average random Vivaldi or whatever. But this was a pop song, one that always inspires in me a mix of joy and longing that somehow seems very Venetian: "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," a hit for Dusty Springfield in 1966.

I've always loved Dusty's version of the song, but what I didn't know—and which I learned thanks to the wonders of Google—is that the melody was co-written by the marvelous cinema composer Pino Donaggio, a Venetian himself. The song's original name, with lyrics in Italian, is "Io che non vivo," and in 1965, Donaggio, a singer/songwriter at the time, made it a hit in Italy. Of course, the mini-orchestra would know this—leave it to the clueless American tourist to have to look it up on Google. But now I know that a song I've loved since I was a little girl has Venetian roots. And that makes it easier for me to say arrivederci.

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