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Malena [Blu-ray]

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Malena [Blu-ray] + Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana, Pietro Notarianni
  • Directors: Guiseppe Tornatore
  • Producers: Harvey Weinstein, Carlo Bernasconi
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006DGI5K2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,658 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A story of the painful passage into adulthood from director Giuseppe Tornatore ('Cinema Paradiso'). The year is 1940, and in the sleepy Sicilian town of Castelucto teenager Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro) has developed a crush on the the beautiful and mysterious Malena (Monica Bellucci). Malena's husband Nino, who has been away fighting in the war, has now been reported dead, and the women of the town have taken to spreading malicious gossip about this woman who never fails to turn their husbands' heads. But as the gossip spreads, and the town fills with half-truths and false rumours, there is only one person who knows the truth, and that is young Renato.

From Amazon.co.uk

When 12-year-old Renato, riding through his small Italian town on his new bicycle, sees the voluptuous Malèna, little does he know he's beginning an infatuation that will carry him through the tumultuous days of World War II. Malèna begins as an enraptured depiction of Renato's adolescent mind--chronicling the way he stares, hypnotised, at Malèna's garters pressing through the material of her tight skirt, or his frustrated rebellion against the indignity of wearing short pants--but soon transforms into a portrait of small-town prejudice. Malèna's looks spark lust and envy in the townspeople; when her husband dies in combat, the gossip only intensifies, to the point where Malèna is dragged into court to defend herself against accusations of adultery. When the women of the town refuse to sell her edible food at the market, Malèna has little choice but to become what she's been unjustly accused of being. At the end, a twist of fate turns this tale of longing and jealousy into a heartbreaking love story. Monica Bellucci exudes the can't-help-it eroticism that makes Malèna such a lightning rod for everyone's desires with a beauty reminiscent of Isabelle Adjani. The movie seems to wander at times, but the ending has a powerful emotional impact. From the director of Cinema Paradiso.--Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 101 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 21 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
Set in a Sicilian village during WW2, "Malena" is a thoroughly enjoyable movie which showcases the many talents and charms of Monica Bellucci, who plays the glamourous wife of an Italian soldier. Lusted after by men and envied by women, Malena has to adjust to life on her own after her husband is called to fight in North Africa. Her solitary status becomes the subject of rampant speculation in the village and her haughty, reserved demeanour helps to turn her into a hate figure for malicious gossips who try to "bring her down". A pubescent boy , Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro) ,falls under her spell and he starts to follow and spy on her ,observing mournfully her fall from grace . The main themes of "Malena" are those of envy, injustice and redemption. The acting and cinematography are superb and there is a rich vein of humour running through the film, mostly provided by Renato's relationship with his right hand and with his temperamental father after an attempted exorcism. However there are some harrowing scenes as well which are brilliantly performed by Bellucci. Like an Italian "Ryan's Daughter" with echoes of "Wish You Were Here", "Malena" is an engaging and entertaining contribution to world cinema.
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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Vinnie Nylon on 1 Feb 2011
Format: DVD
In a world where we are served up a daily dose of quite graphic violence in our movies and entertainment, it is always so disappointing to see the American and Uk censors at it again. This what was a simmeringly hot portrayal of boyhood lust, obsession and discovery has had a massive 20 minutes slashed from it which is totally unacceptable.
Belluci is the sexual nucleus around which this movie revolves, all are drawn to her both man and boy, creating tensions and jealousy within the community.
To cut this film so harshly just tears it's heart out, leaving us with a fairly weak diluted version which is simply an insult to the art and vision of the director.
I have seen the full uncut version and would recommend anyone do the same, leaving this half a film to the censors that killed it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mr-benn on 15 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
Anyone who's seen 'Citizen Kane' remembers the wonderful speech given by an elderly man reflecting on the memory from his youth of seeing a woman in a white dress; though she never saw him, and they never spoke, he remembered her for the rest of his life. Essentially, 'Malena' is that story writ large.

This may well turn out to be Monica Bellucci's signature role. Not only did this film launch her as a leading lady to international audiences, but it also confronts head-on the manner in which she, and countless other beauties of stage and screen, have been and continue to be treated by the world: lusted after, resented, and finally broken down. Some have condemned 'Malena' as voyeuristic, objectifying the leading lady; but this film is really a comment on objectification and voyeurism, a poignant tale about how a woman's looks result in her being ostracised by her community. As it is all told from the perspective of a twelve-year old boy, understandably infatuated, it's also a touching coming of age story; and it's all played out against the backdrop of fascist-ruled Sicily in the late days of the Second World War. That's a lot to squeeze into eighty-odd minutes.

Like any truly great film, 'Malena' takes the viewer through a myriad of emotions. It's hilariously funny, showing us the awkwardness of puberty and the protagonist's generally absurd fantasies involving the object of his lust. It's very sexy, the camera truly loving every inch of the impossibly gorgeous Ms Bellucci. It's tense and disturbing, the shadow of war constantly threatening to break the tranquility of the picturesque town. And it's harrowing to see how the town's gossip about Malena escalates into suspicion, contempt, and ultimately persecution.

All in all, 'Malena' is simply beautiful.
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91 of 98 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan 2003
Format: DVD
This wonderful film from Italy by "Cinema Paradiso" writer and director Gieseppe Tornatore is in turns, hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately, triumphant. What starts out as a coming of age obsession turns into a meditation on human cruelty, and poses many of the same questions as last years film "The Majestic". Is it what people expect of us that makes us what we are? If we change to be this, where do we belong then, and can we be accepted again in the life we choose to live? Make no mistake, this is the darker side to those questions, and the darker answers.
Giueseppe Sulfaro is terrific as Renato, a young boy in an Italian town during WWII who has just gotten a new bicycle. His biggest goal in life is to get a pair of long pants so he can dress like a man. But once he sees the lovely Malena, his life changes forever. His adolescent fantasies about the most beautiful girl in the town are hysterical. He puts himself into the American films he has seen in these moments. From "Me Tarzan, You Malena" to his stagecoach western fantasy (obviously he's John Wayne) "My, you have the biggest guns in the west, Renato!" we can't stop laughing. His raging hormones are treated in a funny and yet tasteful manner.
His adolescent longing for her turns to something more as this film slowly shows Renato how this small Italian town feels about the lovely Malena. Men gawk and want to have her for themselves and the women hate her because of her dark beauty and make up gossip to cheapen her. But Renato has been spying on her through a peephole and knows the truth. She is pure. She dances alone in her house with her husband's picture, faithful and waiting for his return from war.
Renato loves the beautiful Malena and defends her virtue by playing nasty tricks on the ones who talk about her.
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