This was vintage Fellini. I've seen quite a few of his films over the years and even though we haven't gotten along very well, I do have to compliment Fellini on crafting a very unique and recognizable style. Amarcord is everything I expected it to be, for better or for worse. In my case, that's very much for worse.
On paper, I could've been a fan of his work. It's bustling, dynamic, lively and colorful. Fellini pays attention to the cinematography and cooks ups films that feel very deliberate, very cohesive (in tone at least) and complex. These are all things I appreciate, but the reality is that I find his films extremely ugly and I simply cannot stand the characters.
It's like joining a family gathering you didn't want to attend in the first place. People are exuberant, loud and jolly, everyone seems to be having a good time, but the more fun they're having, the more irritated you get. And that lasts for about 2 hours, which is at least shorter than most family gatherings I have to attend. Not my cup of tea.