Mino Barbera

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Cinema Paradiso Review


Excellent
In one of the more puzzling DVD reissues ever comes Cinema Paradiso: The New Version (note it's not called "The Director's Cut" -- in fact this is really the "old version," as the cuts were made to make the film more palatable to U.S. audiences), which takes a sweet two hour production and turns it into an overwhelming three hour movie, which is far more paradiso than anyone really needs. Frankly, the cuts were understandable. And it won Best Foreign Film at the 1989 Oscars... what more do you want?

After all, what was wrong with the short version? Never saccharine, this love affair with the movies is a simple film. Poor, young boy befriends older (yet uneducated) projectionist in his small Sicilian town, learns the ropes, and grows older and wiser with his pal by his side. Eventually, there's romance (no, not between these two). There's war. There's departure. It's like three coming of age stories in one! They're all well produced, subtle, and tender. Unless you truly have no heart, you can't help but enjoy the film.

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