Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.
Nanny McPhee arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman's children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.
A great film * IF * you have the right expectations
I'm an Italian-born longtime US resident, so I think I'm well-positioned to explain this film to the US public :) First and foremost, this isn't just "a film" -- it's a "Roberto Benigni" film. By that, I mean something analogous to a "Woody Allen" film, i.e. a film where the actor/director's imprint is so POWERFUL that you can't separate the two.
Imagine considering a "Woody Allen" film without taking into account the "Woody Allen" part! Well, Roberto Benigni is essentially an Italian Woody Allen -- though, IMHO, less neurotic. LOL My advice: watch other Benigni films BEFORE "Pinocchio". I highly recommend the much acclaimed "Life is Beautiful", and the much-lighter "The Monster." If you love his other films -- as I do -- you'll do just fine with "Pinocchio." Also try to understand the "Pinocchio" story before watching this movie. I grew up with it -- its popularity in Italy is like that of "The Wizard of Oz" in the US "Pinocchio" is a very old-fashioned story, with quaint charm in its heavy-handed moralistic approach. In short, a boy (or a puppet wishing to be a boy) who disregards adult advice will get into all sorts of dire situations. Skip school and get transformed into a jackass! The real charmer is the lively personality of the puppet, and the other endearing characters, both human and magical.
Benigni is PERFECT for the role of the boy-puppet. It doesn't matter one iota how old he is; it's not just an "actor" -- it's Benigni.
Once again, Benigni is THE film in a Benigni film, just like Woody is THE film in his films.
Playing a rambunctious puppet is second nature to Benigni!! He's a total natural for that.
Foolishly, I was discouraged from watching this fine film by the negative reviews. Don't do my same mistake! BTW, rent the "Italian version": it gives you A CHOICE between Italian, English and French spoken languages. I speak all 3, and listened to all 3! I recommend the original, unless you really hate subtitles.
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