Recently watched this movie Nuovo Cinema Paradiso and I can’t believe that I haven’t heard of this movie earlier.
It is such a beautiful show. The storyline might seem simplistic, but it completely draws you in – with such beautiful sceneries and the music that tugs on your heartstrings as well as perfectly cast actors. The little boy who played Toto’ is probably the character that stole the whole show.
He’s so cute! I think they manage to find the perfect cast for the entire movie.
The show starts when a man returns home at night and joins his girlfriend in bed. She sleepily tells him that his mother called and that someone called Alfredo died. And at that point, he starts recalling about his childhood days of his village in Sicily which he hasn’t visited in many many years.
We are introduced to a six year old little boy called Salvatore. (Toto’ for short) He is a mischievous, but very intelligent boy who is the son of a war widow. And at that point of time, it was just a few years after the second world war. Toto’ is the young helper of the town priest, who also takes a role in censoring scenes with kissing, hugging and nudity in the local cinema. He orders Alfredo, the projectionist to have it cut away.
One day, Toto follows the priest to the cinema without his knowledge and from there, he instantly becomes enamoured with films and spends all his time at the cinema. He befriends Alfredo, who at first thinks of him as a pest, but eventually cultivates his love and teaches him how to operate the machinery.
Alfredo is another interesting character who, you could tell, is someone who is completely devoted to his craft – the way he handles the films, the way cares for the machineries … he even tends to quote from the popular films at the time in normal conversations. By the way, I’m not sure if you could tell that the person acting is actually French.
Anyway, I don’t want to reveal too much after this point as I’m very sure that this is a movie that you’d enjoy. So you just have to watch this!
But I do have to say that there were little nuances that I enjoyed watching. Like how a couple met each other in cinema, and then some scenes later, they went together as a married couple, and then some scenes later they went in as a family with kids!
And also of the scene where Toto’ grows up to a teenager and falling in love. There was a memorable scene where Alfredo tells him a fable of a soldier and a princess.
Quite thoughtful about relationships. When you watch this movie, you’ll find out Toto’s interpretation of why the soldier left at the very end.
Anyway, that’s about all that I will reveal to you. This is a must watch Italian movie! It has multiple awards! And it’s wonderful! By the way, while the movie isn’t based on a true story, it is a reflection of the director, Giuseppe Tornatore’s idealised childhood. And the best that I can compare the movie with is probably is has the feel of ‘The Big Fish‘ – dreamy and enchanting.
I don’t know why I love this movie so much. I guess it has a strong feeling of nostalgia for me. Even if I don’t live in Sicily, nor in 60s, but I can connect because I remember how happy I was when I was a kid and I miss those easy and care-less days.
And you can see the stark contrast how the scenes looked like between the beginning and the end after the years has passed – the same for us adults.
Anyway, it was a little difficult for me to understand as there weren’t any subtitles to help me (Obviously! Being in Italy!) Nevertheless, if you are someone who’s trying to learn Italian, or someone just likes watching feel good movies, I think that Nuovo Cinema Paradiso is an excellent show to add to your list.
WATCH IT! WATCH IT! WATCH IT!
Sidenote : Did you know that an audio clip of the movie was taken for for a Dreamtheater song? It is somewhere in 3:00