movie film review | chris tookey

Cinema Paradiso / Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

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  Cinema Paradiso  / Nuovo Cinema Paradiso Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
8.47 /10
Philippe Noiret (LONDON CRITICS' CIRCLE AWARD - ACTOR OF THE YEAR), Jacques Perrin, Salvatore Cascio
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Directed by: Giuseppe Tornatore
Written by: Giuseppe Tornatore

Released: 1989
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: Italy/ France
Colour: C
Length: 155

Heartwarming, tearduct-pummelling account of a Sicilian film director's childhood (Salvatore Cascio, pictured right) and adolescence, when he learned about love and life from Alfredo (Philippe Noiret, pictured left), the crusty old projectionist at his local cinema.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The picture works beautifully as a tribute to the innocence of childhood and the "golden age of cinema". There is wonderful detail in the director's observation, superb acting by Noiret, and a charming performance by the child-actor, Salvatore Cascio. The main defects are a soft centre and the fact that it runs badly out of steam towards the end.

It won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and the 1990 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It became (until the release of Cyrano De Bergerac) the highest-grossing foreign language film ever in the UK. In the 90s, Guardian readers voted it the best movie of the 80s.

Four years after the initial release came a 155-minute “special edition”, no mere “director’s cut”, or compendium of afterthoughts, but the cut which was originally released in Italy, with little commercial impact. It restores 50 minutes of footage, darkens the mood and fills out the unsatisfactory adult love-life of the central character. One of the leading actresses (Brigitte Fossey) didn’t appear at all in the international version. The additions don't make it better, though: the strength of the film remains in the childhood sequences.

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