R | 1h 49min | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 27 October 2000 (Italy)
Amidst the war climate, a teenage boy discovering himself becomes love-stricken by Malèna, a sensual woman living in a small, narrow-minded Italian town.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and some violence
Sicily, 1940. A teenage boy (Giuseppe Sulfaro) is initiated into manhood when his friends introduce him to the glories of Malena (Monica Belluci), the most beautiful woman in town. Sulfaro becomes obsessed, following her wherever she goes on his bike, and he even spies on her in her home. His obsession is not the only one, as much as he wishes and wants to believe it were – the whole town worships her. Every man wants to have her, and every woman is deeply jealous of that fact. And, man, does that make life hard for Malena – her husband is fighting the war in Africa, and the rumors are flying, making life nearly impossible. Sulfaro might see her as a sex object initially, but the more he observes the more he sympathizes. This film begins as an enjoyable comedy, but it grows deeply serious. The climax is one of the harshest, most potent sequences I’ve seen in a long while. One will recognize the nostalgic tone of the movie if you’re familiar with Cinema Paradiso, but I think this is actually a stronger film. Excellent.
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Writers: Giuseppe Tornatore (screenplay), Luciano Vincenzoni (original story)
Stars: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico