Top positive review
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THIS is why we love the movies!
on July 12, 2013
One of the finest films about the enduring love, and need, for cinema, `Cinema Paradiso' is a film about loving movies that makes me love movies! There are few films that can capture every element of nostalgic euphoria while adding layers of emotional relevance, and this is one that nails both aspects in a beautifully balanced film that stands the tests of time and singlehandedly preserves the absolute need for cinema in our lives.
Giuseppe Tornatore's film follows young Toto as he grows into a man in wartime Italy. He strikes up a friendship with Alfredo, the town projectionist. Toto loves film, and more than that he loves the cinema (they are two separate entities linked together by a common thread) and so after much persuasion and plenty of headaches, Toto convinces Alfredo to teach him the ropes of showing films. As Toto falls further in love with the world depicted on the screen in front of him, his own life begins to mirror that which he sees on screen. His life moves on, obviously, and yet his love for film and the effect that it has had on his life (including the memory of Alfredo) never leaves him.
Tornatore magically weaves a fully fleshed out story that feels so complete and relatable. He finds a way to make Toto's unique childhood feel warm and inviting and, most importantly, relatable. We can feel the same joys that Toto feels as he allows the warmth of film to fill his soul, and as he ages, loves, loses and moves on we can feel the nostalgic emotional connection to the life he left behind and the memories that he holds so dear.
Philippe Noiret delivers one of the finest performances put to film as the paternal Alfredo. He grounds the film, giving a moral backdrop and serving a key purpose in the film's storytelling. As young Toto grows into a man, he never forgets the impact that Alfredo had on him, and it is only strengthened for the viewer thanks to Noiret's graceful delivery and his earthy tone. He comforts the film, if that makes sense, holding it close enough to validate Toto's admiration and our endearment.
From the stunning sets to the beautiful way the film is shot, and that devastating score, `Cinema Paradiso' is the definition of perfection, a film that loves movies and highlights the very reasons why we do too!