Entertainment Weekly - 01/12/2001
"...A cannoli-sweet homage to Fellini....[Bellucci] has presence..."
Box Office - 03/01/2001
"...A romantic fable in the PARADISO mold....Tenderly conceived and expertly executed..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2001
"...Wistful nostalgia and creamy visuals..."
Hollywood Reporter - 12/19/2000
"...The spirit of Fellini is very much alive in Giuseppe Tornatore's MALENA..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/25/2001
"...MALENA the film is as beautiful and seductive as its heroine, with its ravishing Lajos Koltai cinematography and sweepingly romantic Ennio Morricone score..."
USA Today - 07/20/2001
"...Tornatore lovingly paints stone buildings with afternoon sunlight..."
With MALÉNA, Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore spins a romantic coming-of-age yarn about love, loss, and courage. Set in 1941 in a tiny village in Sicily, the film focuses on a group of 13-year-old boys who fall madly in love with Maléna (Monica Bellucci), the wife of a local soldier. One of the boys, Renato Amoroso (Giuseppe Sulfaro), a dreamer who yearns for freedom from his war-bound village, revels in the exquisite beauty of the enchanting newcomer. He becomes her shadow, following her through the cobble stone streets and spying on her most intimate moments, overwhelmed with romantic longing for the first time. Maléna has a magical spellbinding effect on the male villagers; her presence inspires fantasy and escape from their daily lives. But the women of the village, hardened by war, are quick to judge the nubile outsider. Maléna becomes the focus of desire and seething jealousy in the town and she is eventually forced to face the female villagers in a bittersweet climax. Reminiscent of Federico Fellini's nostalgic masterpiece AMARCORD, native Sicilian Tornatore revisits the dusty village streets of his childhood where adolescent boys learn about sex, desire, and ultimately, love. Like Tornatore's critically acclaimed CINEMA PARADISO, he bathes the film in the sun-drenched light of his homeland, giving it a dreamy, earthy sensuality and a poetic spirit. Bellucci is a delicious revelation, the camera lingers seductively on her bewitching beauty. Inspired by the story MA L'AMORE NO... by Luciano Vincenzoni.
Coming Of Age |
Theatrical Release |
World War II
Theatrical release: November 10, 2000 (NY/LA).
MALÉNA was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.