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Italy, United States · 2000
Rated R · 1h 48m
Director Giuseppe Tornatore
Starring Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana
Genre Drama

Men love her, women hate her—this is the story of Malena, a small-town Italian schoolteacher oblivious to her good-looks, and Renato, the young man who grows up transfixed by the idea of her. The film swings between themes of comedy, nostalgia, and bittersweet regret.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

Striking photography, period detail, screen-filling crowd scenes, and veteran composer Morricone's score make this one worth seeing, but the sheer nastiness of the town's people drags it down.


Village Voice by Dennis Lim

A nostalgic coming-of-age sex comedy tastefully lecherous enough to indicate that its intended demographic is several decades past puberty.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Somewhere in writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore's overstyled movie, about a 12-year-old boy (Sulfaro) during the Italian fascist period who has the hots for a mistreated war widow (Belluci), is a pretty good short story about the fickleness of community and the cruelty of gossip struggling to get out.


Los Angeles Times by Kevin Thomas

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 by Mike Clark

There's definitely some paradiso in watching Malena walking, but not enough to sustain almost two hours of cinema.

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