Malena (2000)

GIUSEPPE TORNATORE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBBItaly/USA, 2000.  , , Pacific Pictures, Tele+.  Story by , Screenplay by Giuseppe Tornatore.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 2000Golden Globe Awards 2000National Board of Review Awards 2000Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2000.

stars as the title character, the most beautiful woman in a small Italian village who is also the object of affection for a burgeoning young boy who becomes so obsessed with her that he follows her everywhere. Naturally, the dowdy women in this poor village do not take to this outsider: Malena moved there when she married her husband, a local, who is now fighting in World War II. What with all the attention she gets from men whenever she crosses the village square every day to go see her professor father, the ladies take to making up stories about her to compensate for their jealousy (and potentially ruined marriages). The tragedy of this story is that Malena herself is a meek woman who never bothers anyone but suffers for their ignorance all the same, and when her luck really takes a turn for the worse she is forced to behave the way the people around her really see her. Thanks to the story’s being told from the point of view of the little boy whose hormones are running amok, the film has much humour amid its sadder moments, and it is made even more poignant by the loving photography by Lajos Koltai.

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