An Italian mini-series (but co-produced by several European TV stations) shot in the 1970s that tells the story of Pinocchio. This is a film faithful to the novel, with life actors, that goes far beyond the sweetened heartless and childish versions that Hollywood has been producing since the 1940s, as if all kids were simple-minded, and all children stories empty of meaning.
The film/mini-series has all the elements of the best Italian Neorealism, and, in fact, the background is an unsweetened sad and poor 1860s Italy, in which, however, magic and hope are everywhere, in the poorest of the settings, in the saddest most lonely heart. This magic and this hope carry the viewer along the harshness of Pinocchio and Geppetto's despair, separation, dramas, failure, and final success.
The characters, the mood of the movie, the dresses, the music are all fabulous, superbly constructed and presented. Most importantly, the characters are superbly played, very heartfelt, by all actors. Andrea Balestri and Nino Manfredi are unforgettable as Pinocchio and Geppetto, respectively, as well as Gina Lollobrigida in her tiny but important role as a the Fairy Azzurra.
This is a Pinocchio with heart, real heart. The story and the acting being heartfelt, the character of Pinocchio becomes real, believable, unquestionably human despite its wooden body.
This Pinocchio is not just for kids, although kids will like it, but for adults interested in new approaches to film making and to old stories being true to the original, not a pre-masticated version of the same.
If you haven't watched this, you should, because this is a fabulous piece of TV history and film making. In fact, the best Pinocchio ever made to the date. Forget even Begnini, still a pre-masticated version of the original for Hollywood.
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