Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)

1988

Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) (1988)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Cinema Paradiso is a life-affirming ode to the power of youth, nostalgia, and the the movies themselves.

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Movie Info

Cinema Paradiso offers a nostalgic look at films and the effect they have on a young boy who grows up in and around the title village movie theater in this Italian comedy drama that is based on the life and times of screenwriter/director Giuseppe Tornatore. The story begins in the present as a Sicilian mother pines for her estranged son, Salvatore, who left many years ago and has since become a prominent Roman film director who has taken the advice of his mentor too literally. He finally returns to his home village to attend the funeral of the town's former film projectionist, Alfredo, and, in so doing, embarks upon a journey into his boyhood just after WWII when he became the man's official son. In the dark confines of the Cinema Paradiso, the boy and the other townsfolk try to escape from the grim realities of post-war Italy. The town censor is also there to insure nothing untoward appears onscreen, invariably demanding that all kissing scenes be edited out. One day, Salvatore saves Alfredo's life after a fire, and then becomes the new projectionist. A few years later, Salvatore falls in love with a beautiful girl who breaks his heart after he is inducted into the military. Thirty years later, Salvatore has come to say goodbye to his life-long friend, who has left him a little gift in a film can. In 2002, over a decade after the film's original release, Tornatore brought the original 170-minute director's cut to American screens for the first time. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (18)

Returning to cinemas in spiffily remastered form ... the film retains its wide-eyed charm, pitched halfway between unrestrained romanticism and unknowing kitsch.

Dec 9, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The heightened symmetry of this new/old Cinema Paradiso makes the film a fuller experience, like an old friend haunted by the exigencies of time.

Jul 19, 2002 | Rating: 4/4

In the director's cut, the film is not only a love song to the movies but it also is more fully an example of the kind of lush, all-enveloping movie experience it rhapsodizes.

Jul 19, 2002 | Rating: A

The film's final hour, where nearly all the previous unseen material resides, is unconvincing soap opera that Tornatore was right to cut.

Jul 19, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Still rapturous after all these years, Cinema Paradiso stands as one of the great films about movie love.

Jul 11, 2002

This director's cut -- which adds 51 minutes -- takes a great film and turns it into a mundane soap opera.

Jun 28, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)

The theatrical version is definitely great, a wonderful homage to Cinema, but the extended director's cut is a new and altogether different experience that gives a lot more space to the love story, resulting then in a much richer and complete narrative.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

(For the original, shorter cut)

Louis Rogers
Louis Rogers

Super Reviewer

½

A filmmaker's film made with love and appreciation for the art, Cinema Paradiso is a beautiful piece of cinema that's unforgettable!

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

½

After viewing the director's cut of Cinema Paradiso, I can understand why Giuseppe Tornatore decided to cut most of the third act -- some scenes are extremely schmaltzy and maudlin, treading dangerously close to soap opera-bad. There are other aspects I could harp on (its overly ambitious attempt to shoehorn political themes, its flowery dialogue, etc.) but sometimes a film has so much spirit and is so heartfelt that you just have to let yourself get wrapped up in it. Plus, I'm a sucker for any love letter to the cinema. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fantastic ending kissing montage. It was perfectly executed, well acted and really solidified the heart and soul of the story (the relationship between Salvatore and Alfredo). If only the rest of the film would have been as fully realized, then we'd be talking about a masterpiece.

Jonathan Hutchings
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

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