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Cinema Paradiso

May 30, 2011

I haven’t seen it in a few years, but one of my all-time favorite movies is Cinema Paradiso. The Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language film back in 1989, the film is director Giuseppe Tornatore’s love letter to the movies and the old small-town movie theater. The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone is gorgeous. Yeah, the movie can be a little sappy, but that’s part of its charm. If you don’t cry at the final scene, you have no soul.

p.s. In 2002, a director’s cut was released, adding a whopping 51 minutes. Much of the restored footage deals with the resolution of a love plot line that had ended abruptly, but realistically, in the original movie. I’ll be blunt and say that I hate this version. It completely changes the tone of the movie and the characters that you have come to love if you previously saw the original. Plus, the original was long at 2 hours, though very fulfilling. The director’s cut is 3 hours that eventually drags along. Basically, the director’s cut George Lucas-ed the original film. Avoid it. Netflix offers the both versions on one DVD. Fast-forward through most of the original end-credits and you’ll see a clip that will provide a brief but satisfying resolution that director’s cut failed to do.


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