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Cinema Paradiso (Special Edition) (1988)

Cast: Philippe Noiret, Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio, more...
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore, Giuseppe Tornatore
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Studio: Weinstein Company
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Italy, Coming of Age
Languages: French, Italian
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Cinema Paradiso offers a nostalgic look at films and the effect they have on a young boy who grows up in and around the title village movie theater in this Italian comedy drama that is based on the life and times of screenwriter/director Giuseppe Tornatore. The story begins in the present as a Sicilian mother pines for her estranged son, Salvatore, who left many years ago and has since become a prominent Roman film director who has taken the advice of his mentor too literally. He finally returns to his home village to attend the funeral of the town's former film projectionist, Alfredo, and, in so doing, embarks upon a journey into his boyhood just after WWII when he became the man's official son. In the dark confines of the Cinema Paradiso, the boy and the other townsfolk try to escape from the grim realities of post-war Italy. The town censor is also there to insure nothing untoward appears onscreen, invariably demanding that all kissing scenes be edited out. One day, Salvatore saves Alfredo's life after a fire, and then becomes the new projectionist. A few years later, Salvatore falls in love with a beautiful girl who breaks his heart after he is inducted into the military. Thirty years later, Salvatore has come to say goodbye to his life-long friend, who has left him a little gift in a film can. In 2002, over a decade after the film's original release, Tornatore brought the original 170-minute director's cut to American screens for the first time. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Cinema Paradiso (Special Edition) (Disc 1: Theatrical Cut) (1988)
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7.55 (263 votes)
Cinema Paradiso (Special Edition) (Disc 2: Director's Cut) (1988)
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7.38 (8 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Sweet film by nonogirl February 28, 2008 - 11:29 AM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This sweet, coming of age story of an Italian boy who loves film was quite enjoyable. There are some great cinematographic moments and the film centers on the relationship between a young boy and a projectionist at the local cinema who acts as the boy's surrogate father.

FYI, it wasn't clear to me, but Disc 1 is the theatrical release. Disc 2 is the Director's Cut. I took both out at the same time, which was a total waste, and have put Disc 2 back in my queue to watch at a later date.

Not my Cup of Tea by notrust August 18, 2006 - 5:49 PM PDT
4 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Fairly sappy, and emotionally top-heavy flick. I know there are a lot of people who like movies that constantly try to play on their emotions in a continous and systematic fashion. Nothing wrong with those types of movies or those type of people. I just don't happen to be one of them, and feel a little violated by these somewhat manipulative films, preferring to rely mainly upon logic over emotion.

Of the 280 or so reviews of this DVD on Amazon, I think there was only one person who thought the movie was overly emotional and sentimental, as I did. So I may be on thin ice here, but I really did not like the film. Especially after hearing all the fuss that was made 15 or so years ago when it was first released in the US.

I thought the kid in this move was an annoying brat, and the other characters were nice enough, but not very well developed, and their only purpose seemed to be to propel the annoying kid through the uninteresting and predictable story arc.

There was also a familiar song riff played over and over again in the movie which I got pretty tired of. At the end, the viewer's familiarity with the tune is used to elicit an emotional response when the entire piece is finally played.

As you can tell, I don't like these kinds of movies, so cannot truthfully give a favorable rating. I know most people probably won't find this review "helpful". Sorry, it's just my opinion. And if other members like this movie so much, maybe they can submit a more favorable review, but no one has so far.

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