Video Picks Archive

July 11, 2001
This Week's Video Picks
Back to Archive

Reviews by Matt Heffernan <>

This week my picks are Malèna (2000 - ) and Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988 - ).

The first pick this week is the latest film from Italy's Guisseppe Tornatore. The title character in Malèna is a strikingly beautiful woman (Monica Bellucci) who, because of the nasty gossip in her small town, is subject to great hardship. This story is told from the perspective of a young boy (Giuseppe Sulfaro) who has his first crush on her. This limits the scope of the story, of course, but Tornatore prefers to see the world through a child's eye, where some of the harsh realities of life are filtered out. It's a nostalgic treat for anyone, even if you didn't grow up in Sicily during World War II.
Full review from February 5, 2001

Tornatore's first film to garner international acclaim was the second pick, known in America (and most markets) as simply Cinema Paradiso. Again, a story of small-town Sicilian life is told through a young boy named Salvatore (Salvatore Cascio) who befriends the local projectionist, Alfredo (Philippe Noiret). When the old Cinema Paradiso is burned down, and Alfredo blinded in the process, Salvatore becomes the projectionist of the Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. However, he doesn't know how to edit the films as the local clergy wish, so the town finally gets to see all the sexy parts in modern cinema. It's an extraordinarily beautiful film and a lot of fun for film buffs. Among its many awards are the Grand Jury Prize from Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Malèna (2000)
Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Malèna (2000) - English subtitles -- VHS
Malèna (2000) -- DVD
Malèna: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
Cinema Paradiso (1990) - English subtitles -- VHS
Cinema Paradiso (1990) - dubbed in English -- VHS
Cinema Paradiso (1990) -- DVD
Cinema Paradiso: Original Soundtrack Recording -- Compact Disc Home
Review Archive
Guide to Star Ratings

Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan