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Robert De Niro,
The film begins in the 1920's, in the Sicilian town of Bagheria (a.k.a. Baaria) where Giuseppe "Peppino" Torrenuova works as a shepherd to financially help his poor family. Over the next 50 years Giuseppe's life, as well as the life of the village, is observed. Giuseppe grows up, joins the Communist Party, marries a local girl (Mannina), has children and forges a political career for himself. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I saw this last month at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival. From famed writer/director Giuseppe Tornatore this was Italy's official submission to the 82nd Academy Awards for Best foreign Language Film and was nominated for a Golden Globe in the same category so despite its rather lengthy 150 minute run time I was looking forward to seeing this. Also it is set in beautiful Scicily and features 40 of Italy's top actors in lead and cameo roles and a music score from the great Ennio Morricone so on paper this looks like a sure-fire hit. It certainly has an epic quality about it and it's nice to look at but there are just too many acting roles with very little for them to do. The time frame of it's setting covering three generations is too ambitious. The story line is too weak. the story takes place across the first half of the 20th century. Peppino (Francesco Scianna) is the son of a Shepperd who grows up to be a local rep of the Communist Party and has a forbidden romance and marriage to the beautiful Mannina (Margareth Madè). Beautiful photography from cinematographer Enrico Lucidi complementing the lovely art direction and production design of Maurizo Sabatini and Cosimo Gomez with some nice special effects this is a great looking film but it's wandering story line and fairly weak dialog drags it down. There is a lot to like in this film but despite the expense that must have gone into making it it falls way short of being an excellent film. I would give it a 7.0 out of 10.
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