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Malèna (2000) - Giuseppe Tornatore

Related: MonicaBellucci - mainstream erotic movies - film - Italian cinema

Malena (2000) - Giuseppe Tornatore [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


When 12-year-old Renato, riding through his small Italian town on his new bicycle, sees the voluptuous Malèna, little does he know he's launching on an infatuation that will carry him through the tumultuous days of World War II. Malèna begins as an enraptured depiction of Renato's adolescent mind--the way he stares, hypnotized, at Malèna's garters pressing through the material of her tight skirt, or his frustrated rebellion against the indignity of wearing short pants--but soon transforms into a portrait of small-town prejudice. Malèna's looks spark lust and envy in the townspeople; when her husband dies in combat, the gossip only intensifies, to the point that Malèna is dragged into court to defend herself against accusations of adultery. When the women of the town refuse to sell her edible food at the market, Malèna has little choice but to become what she's been unjustly accused of being. At the end, a twist of fate turns this tale of longing and jealousy into a heartbreaking love story. Monica Bellucci exudes the can't-help-it eroticism that makes Malèna such a lightning rod for everyone's desires; she's like a more zaftig Isabelle Adjani. The movie seems to wander at times, but the ending has a powerful emotional impact. From the director of Cinema Paradiso. --Bret Fetzer for Amazon.com

Malèna is a 2000 Italian drama/romance film starring Monica Bellucci and Giuseppe Sulfaro. Directed and written by Giuseppe Tornatore and story by Luciano Vincenzoni.

Criticised for its depiction of teenage sexuality, as well as the paucity of dialogue, Malèna was successful in Europe, but the movie itself was altered by its North American distribution company Fine Line Features, and several scenes were cut. Possibly as a result, it did poorly in few United States movie theatres in which it appeared; as of 2005 only the edited version is available for commercial purchase on DVD in North America.

Set in 1940 during World War II just as Italy enters the war, Malena's husband Nico leaves to serve in the war. Malena feels sadness for his decision and tries to deal with her loss just as the town she just moved to tries to deal with this beautiful woman who gets the attention and lustful stares of all the local men, including the 12-year-old Renato. Malena, the silent, distractingly beautiful outsider, learns one day that her husband is killed at war and this news only deepens her grief. Renato continues to watch as she suffers through loneliness, grief, being shunned by the townspeople and the negative attention she gets from the jealous ladies of the Italian village.

The United States version of the film was heavily cut due to the portrayal of the young boy fantasizing about performing sexual acts with Malena. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mal%C3%A8na [Dec 2005]

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