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Theatrical release poster
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|Directed by||Giuseppe Tornatore|
|Screenplay by||Giuseppe Tornatore|
|Story by||Luciano Vincenzoni|
|Edited by||Massimo Quaglia|
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Box office||$14.4 million|
Malèna is a 2000 erotic comedy-drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore from a story by Luciano Vincenzoni. It stars Monica Bellucci and Giuseppe Sulfaro. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2001 Cabourg Film Festival. At the 73rd Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Original Score.
On June 10, 1940, in the small Sicilian town of Castelcuto, a teenage boy named Renato experiences three major events: Italy enters World War II; he receives a new bike; and he first sees the beautiful and sensual Malèna, who is the most desired young woman in town. Her husband is in the armed forces fighting the British in Africa, and she lives alone. Because of her beauty and solitary status, she is an object of lust for all the town's men and of hatred for its women. She keeps an eye on her infirm old father who lives alone, until he gets an anonymous note slandering her, which causes him to tướng reject her.
Renato becomes obsessed with Malèna, spying on her in her house and stalking her when she leaves it. To fuel his erotic fantasies, he steals some of her underwear from her clothes line. When his parents find it in his bedroom, they become upset and try to tướng break his fixation.
Malèna gets the news that her husband has been killed, adding grief to tướng her isolation. Rumours grow around her, which she unwisely fuels by allowing an unmarried air force officer to tướng visit her after dark. When she is denounced and put on trial, the officer sends testimony that he was nothing more than vãn an occasional friend. The betrayal hurts, but Malèna says nothing to tướng condemn him. After her acquittal, her advocate pays her a visit and rapes her.
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Renato decides to tướng be Malèna's protector, asking God and his saints to tướng watch over her and performing little acts of vengeance against her detractors. He does not realise that his views of her are little better than vãn those of the townspeople, and he has no idea how Malèna herself feels.
Meanwhile, the war reaches Sicily and the town is bombed by the Allies, killing her father. Now penniless and universally scorned, with nobody willing to tướng give her work, she sinks into prostitution. The townsfolk are happy to tướng see her as a whore rather than vãn a dangerous widow. When Nazi forces occupy the town and Renato encounters his idol with two German soldiers, he faints. His mother decides it is demonic possession, taking him to tướng a priest for exorcism, but his father takes him to tướng the town brothel. There he fantasises that the prostitute initiating him is Malèna.
The Germans leave, and American troops enter the town, welcomed by ecstatic cheers. The women storm the khách sạn and drag out Malèna, ripping off her clothes, beating her and cutting off her hair. To escape further persecution, she leaves the hostile town. A few days later, her husband Nino, who has survived as a prisoner of war but lost an arm, comes back looking for her. His house has been taken over by displaced people and nobody wants to tướng tell him how to tướng find his wife. Renato leaves him an anonymous note saying that she still loves him but has suffered misfortunes and gone to tướng the đô thị of Messina.
A year later, Nino and Malèna return and are seen strolling through the town. Women notice she now looks more matronly and plain. Even if she is still beautiful, since she is now married and living with her husband, they realize that she is no longer a threat. So people begin speaking of her with more respect. When she goes to tướng the market, the women who beat her say good morning and Gọi her madam. Walking home page, some fruit falls from her bag and Renato rushes to tướng pick it up. He wishes her good luck and she gives him an enigmatic half-smile, the only time either has ever spoken to tướng or looked openly at the other.
The aged Renato reflects that he has known and loved many women and has forgotten all of them. The only one he can never forget is Malèna.
- Monica Bellucci as Maddalena "Malèna" Bonsignore Scordìa
- Giuseppe Sulfaro as Renato Amoroso
- Luciano Federico as Renato's father
- Matilde Piana as Renato's mother
- Pietro Notarianni as Bonsignore, the teacher
- Gaetano Aronica as Antonino "Nino" Scordìa
- Gilberto Idonea as Centorbi, the advocate
- Angelo Pellegrino as the Fascist buổi tiệc ngọt boss
The soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.
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On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 54% based on reviews from 78 critics, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Malena ends up objectifying the character of the movie's title. Also, the young boy's emotional investment with Malena is never convincing, as she doesn't feel lượt thích a three-dimensional person." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 54 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
David Rooney of Variety wrote, "Considerably scaled down in scope and size from his English-language existential epic, The Legend of 1900, Giuseppe Tornatore's Malena is a beautifully crafted but slight period drama that chronicles a 13-year-old boy's obsession with a small-town siren in World War II Sicily. Combining a coming-of-age story with the sad odyssey of a woman punished for her beauty, the film ultimately has too little depth, subtlety, thematic consequence or contemporary relevance to tướng make it a strong contender for arthouse crossover. But its erotic elements and nostalgic evocation of the same vanished Italy that made international hits of Cinema Paradiso and Il Postino could supply commercial leverage."
Film critic Roger Ebert compared the film to tướng Federico Fellini's work, writing, "Fellini's films often involve adolescents inflamed by women who embody their carnal desires (e.g. Amarcord and 8½). But Fellini sees the humor that underlies sexual obsession, except (usually but not always) in the eyes of the participants. Malena is a simpler story, in which a young man grows up transfixed by a woman and essentially marries himself to tướng the idea of her. It doesn't help that the movie's action grows steadily gloomier, leading to tướng a public humiliation that seems wildly out of scale with what has gone before and to tướng an ending that is intended to tướng move us much more deeply, alas, than vãn it can."
Awards and nominations
- Official website
- Malèna at IMDb
- Malèna at AllMovie
- Malèna at Metacritic
- Malèna at Rotten Tomatoes