Baarža (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Baarža (2009)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Giuseppe Tornatore directed this grand-scale portrait of life and love over several decades in a small town in Sicily. The Torrenuovas are a family of peasant shepherds who have lived and worked in Bagheria though many generations. In the years before the rise of Mussolini, the family often found themselves working for Don Giacinto (Lollo Franco), a local tycoon who often used his power and position to take advantage of others. Young Peppino Torrenuova senses a profound injustice in the way Don Giacinto treats his elders, and as the years pass the young man becomes a passionate advocate for social change. Once he grows to be a man, Peppino (Francesco Scianna) falls in love with beautiful Mannina (Margareth Made) and they get married, starting a family of their own over the objections of Mannia's parents, who believe she can do better. As Peppino throws in his lot with the local Communist party and works to make life better for his fellow peasants, we see a number of important historical events through his eyes and watch the fortunes of his town and his family rise and fall. Featuring guest appearances by Monica Bellucci, Raoul Bova and Donatella Finocchiaro, Baaria was the opening night attraction at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Giuseppe Tornatore, Maurizio Sabatini
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 18, 2011
Runtime:
Summit Entertainment

News & Interviews for Baarža

Critic Reviews for Baarža

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

The picture does have its plodding moments - but there's enough left over for the rest of us to have a reasonably good time.

Full Review… | January 27, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It's a shame Tornatore's movie, impressive statement though it is, never musters the emotional potency that would make it really special.

Full Review… | July 22, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

I'm all for bloated, confusing, directorial vanity projects like Synecdoche New York and 8 1/2. But Synecdoche New York and 8 1/2 this ain't.

Full Review… | February 6, 2011
Quickflix

Baaria is like a pleasant package holiday: alfresco dinners, strolls through lemon orchards.

Full Review… | July 29, 2010
Total Film

If you have ever smiled at a Bertoli commercial it could be just the film for you.

Full Review… | July 26, 2010
Daily Express (UK)

Audience Reviews for Baarža

Oh how I wanted to really like an Italian film. I guess that this was not the movie that was going to convince me that Italian filmmakers have talent. I had a lot of trouble making any sense of what this movie was trying to convey.

itsjustme2004
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Baarža is an involving autobiographical film with good performances, but I felt disappointed at how unnecessarily overlong it is and at Morricone's unusually ordinary score. Besides, the final fifteen minutes almost manage to ruin everything that had been built up until then.

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

½

"Baaria" starts in a small town in Sicily in Fascist Italy with young Peppino Torrenuova(Francesco Scianna) agreeing to buy a pack of cigarettes for an influential man who is otherwise busy with hanging out and playing games at an outdoor cafe. If he gets back by the time the man's spit dries in the dirt, he gets 20 lira which could come in handy, considering his family is always broke and forced to work menial jobs to survive, even with his father knowing how to read and still having all his own teeth. Even as the war promises to change everything, Peppino's family remains doggedly poor. But unlike his father, he takes an interest in politics to proactively put forth change for his fellow countrymen.

As good looking and memorable as "Baaria" is on occasion, it is basically just a series of slightly related vignettes, stretched out to the breaking point of where the movie becomes a slog to sit through before an ending that veers perilously close to sheer allegory about Sicily's hopes and dreams. Otherwise, there are no new insights into Sicily that we have not seen plenty of times before.(And yes, Giuseppe Tornatore, we know you directed "Cinema Paradiso.") At least, the leading character is a Communist this time around.

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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