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Bruno
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Reviews & Ratings for
Bruno More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Alex D. Linz, the brightest rising star.

10/10
Author: (tristanbills)
17 February 2002

I had my doubts at first, but as the movie progressed I was in awe of the story being told.

The box-art says it all, totally original. Believe me, there are times in your life when you just want to do something different, or a time when you just don't care what people think.

I would recommend this movie to everyone.

Alex D. Linz is great in this movie. Showing unsurpassed talent for a boy his age.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

It was an amazing story told with wit and grace

Author: microbio2000 (microbio2000@mexico.com) from Ottawa, Ontario
21 October 2000

Bruno was the kind of movie that I will see over and over. I am not usually a fan of movies starring children, and I generally look for some (intelligent) action. This dreamy story of an angelic, cross-dressing young boy was presented with style and compassion and offered a lesson in respect. Run don't walk to rent it!

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Accepting yourself and others as they are

10/10
Author: Stephen Wild (smwild@attglobal.net) from Niagara Region, Canada
30 October 2000

Beautifully done picture about being yourself and tolerance for others.The boy Bruno (Alex D. Linz) is superb is this role and the mother also does a great job. Probably won't make much money but deserves to more than 95% of latest films.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

If you liked Matilda, Christmas Story, and Gilbert Grape...

9/10
Author: bill_farrell from san carlos, ca
16 January 2001

This funny, quirky, and touching story of individuality and tolerance makes it one of 2000's best films.

David Ciminello's film writing debut and Shirley Maclaine's second directorial opus populates the screen with the most memorable characters since "Matilda," "Gilbert Grape," and "Christmas Story." Bruno Battaglia (expertly played by Alex D. Linz) is an eight-year-old prodigy who aspires to win the National Catholic School Spelling Competition and its grand prize, an all expense paid trip to Rome for a private audience with the Pope. After a near-death experience and encounter with angels, he resolves to compete wearing various dresses (which he insists are "holy vestments"), much to the distress of the Long Island school's nuns (Kathy Bates as Mother Superior, Lainie Kazan and Brett Butler as his teachers) and the ridicule of his classmates.

Bruno's morbidly obese mother (Stacey Halprin), his estranged father who is ashamed of his son (Gary Sinese), his hyper-masculine grandmother (Shirley Maclaine), and his Annie Oakleyesque best friend (Kiami Davael) round out the cast with stellar performances. Watch for cameos by Gwen Verdon and Jennifer Tilly.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Quirky movie with great characters

8/10
Author: twohaneys from United States
12 August 2005

Bruno had two ineffectual parents - an intelligent boy who is out of place except in his own world of spelling. The movie allows the viewer to feel the hurt of the various characters without damning any of them. It shows how adults can be so wrapped up in their own turmoil and battling their inner demons and disappointments that they fail to see just how their children are being affected.

Bruno manages to touch your heart on one hand and make you want to shout at the screen characters at the same time.

The mother is so over the top that at times you are waiting for the punch line to come, but it doesn't - and you are left wanting to shake her and say get over yourself - look at your son! The father mopes around and turns to a shallow witch who on one hand you can see that he cringes with her behavior but his own pitifully low self-esteem makes him gravitate right back to her - maybe her being so low makes him feel so much better? Anyway, the film will grab you and at times frustrate you but there is an underlying redeeming message - tolerance, recognition of uniqueness.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A Gem of a Film

Author: captainpat from Sydney
10 January 2002

I stayed up late last night to watch this movie on the cable. It is a little gem.

The script by David Ciminello was alive. I couldn't stop watching until the conclusion. I'm waiting to see his next one.

As a good Catholic boy I thrilled seeing the reactions of the nuns to the boy and his dress. Kathy Bates as "Mother Superior" was wonderful - in fact the casting was superb.

Some people have thrown negative comments about this film but really it is a fun film with a deep meaning.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Unusual film, lots of good things in it

Author: Joe Coleman (seajoe@canoemail.com) from miami, usa
12 February 2002



Well, this looks like a film many people (most?) didn't get. Should have got a lot more credits than it seems to have gotten. Not sure why at all it flunked the critical course. It's quite good and seems to have been Shirley MacLaine's first directing job. So, go see it or rent it. BTW, there is nothing in it of floating in clouds of spirituality over Peru, for those who have worried about that sort of thing over the course of Ms. MacLaine's almost always very distinguished career.

The movie is kind of like a home movie done by an extremely talented director and a lot of other talented movie pros: it's not that it's amateurish at all; its rather that it doesn't try for finished Hollywood effects much. Just lets things out, sometimes to play, sometimes not. It's very, very well directed but not in a usual or common or regular sense. Shirley MacLaine may do her best at what you might call encouraging and allowing her actors (including herself) to do "fresh" things onscreen. Sort of like, "OK, go!" Really nice spirit about almost all of the show.

And, like most good or better creations, the film doesn't at all go out of its way to explain the story it's showing you. Good. That means it's real hard to put it in a category. Also Good. It's some kind of comedy AND drama, I suppose, but please don't call it a comedy-drama, I think.

The young hero, played by Alex Linz, is a quite wonderful "open" part. Again the movie does not try to explain, put words on what "exactly", "precisely" <groan> his motivations are (to win the National Catholic Spelling Bee <really>) while most of the time wearing girl-woman dress, often flamboyant. Kathy Bates as the head of the Catholic grade school he attends is wonderful, too, a quite masculine and tough (and funny) nun who just won't tolerate the boy, for awhile. And there are quite a few nice drop-ins from actors like Jennifer Tilly. Gary Sinese, who I usually think of as a great villain or great sickone, or both, is wonderful as a trying-to-be tough cop who was labelled sissy when he was his hero son's age, not least by his mother, Shirley MacLaine.

I liked David Cuminello's script a lot. Got the impression he may not have written all of it???

In all, a quite different film that is well worth watching, wherever. Far from run of the mill, as they say.

I'm a little afraid to give it the 6 rating I've put on it, but I think I should stop worrying because I am a hard grader. Somewhere between 6 and 7 is I think where it belongs, and where I hope it's getting to on IMDB.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Inspirational

10/10
Author: EA from United States
7 June 2006

As with all of Shirley MacLaine's films the message was well worth the two hours of my life.

I recommend it highly.

Not one stereotype is left unchallenged and done so subtly one has to stop and really think.

Had a really difficult time watching the brutality Bruno and Angela (Stacey Halprin) had to endure from most everyone else in the film, all because they wanted/needed/were seeking to be themselves. What a society of drones we live in. "And it will take a child to lead them..." ..and a black child for that matter.

Great movie, may be difficult for sensitive folks but well worth it. Had to watch it in three time periods just to let the distress at the violence subside.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This movie was amazing!!

Author: jobakhume from Inglewood, California
23 December 2000

I thought for this to be Shirley's first directing job, she was amazing behind the camera. I hope that she will do more movies with Shirley herself in there. But then again, as I remember, she said she hated directing herself. Alex was great, Gary was wonderful, Stacie and Kiami took over the screen, and everybody else really took control of the movie. Although this is December, for the rest of this month, if you live on the West Coast, you can see it on Starz Movie Channel. Then you can check her website to read more about this movie. I don't know about anybody else, but I give this movie about 9 1/2 to 10 stars.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great film, great acting by Alex Linz.

8/10
Author: Peter (foxhusky) from Deventer, The Netherlands
8 May 2002

Yes, I actually liked this film when I watched it on videotape. The subject in the film is a little weird and that is what I like. What's wrong with a boy who wants to be a little 'different'? When all people are the same, it's a boring world. Little Bruno (Alex Linz) is a 9-year-old boy and he wants to wear a dress. I did not like Shirley MacLaine in this film, but Alex Linz was great!

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