Malena | Chicago Reader

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Somewhere in writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore's bombastic movie, about a 12-year-old boy (Giuseppe Sulfaro) during the Italian fascist period who has the hots for a mistreated war widow (Monica Bellucci), is a pretty good short story about the fickleness of community and the cruelty of gossip. Part of what prevents it from emerging more clearly is the movie's compulsion to be Fellini-like at all costs: Ennio Morricone's score periodically apes Nino Rota, and the scenes of family farce play more like Radio Days than anything else—in effect they're an imitation of imitation Fellini. But I prefer this to Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso, if only for its more nuanced views. Tornatore's script was inspired by Luciano Vincenzoni's story “Ma l'amore no . . . ” In Italian with subtitles. 90 min.

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