Without a doubt Giuseppe Tornatore’s finest film and starring Philippe Noiret as the movie projectionist named Alfredo in Cinema Paradiso (1988, Italy). Told entirely in flashback, “Toto” (adult Toto played by Jacques Perrin) recalls his friendship with Alfredo through his childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood.
It is a film where the sentimentality is just about everywhere - including one of Ennio Morricone’s best-known, best-loved scores. But where it draws upon that strength to become an audience favorite, its sentimentality has also become a target for critics. For the story, Noiret’s performance, and those of the three actors that play Toto through various stages of his life, it is worth seeing. Cinema Paradiso contains one of the most effective endings in recent film history.
Cinema Paradiso was nominated for and won one Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is the twelfth of thirteen Italian winners in that category - the last one being Life Is Beautiful in 1997.
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