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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely memory piece courtesy of Giuseppe Tornatore
In a tiny Sicilian village called Baaria, the film follows three generations and 60 years from the 1920s through the 1980s. The main protagonist is Peppino (Francesco Scianna), the son of a shepherd, who becomes a committed communist during WWII. He falls in love with the lovely Mannina (Margareth Made) and they raise a family but his commitment to communism keeps him...
Published on 18 July 2011 by The CinemaScope Cat

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I liked this one even less than his previous ones
Not a fan of Tornatore, I must say. However, I liked this one even less than his previous ones. Although Italian by birth, I could only understand thanks to the English subtitles. I refuse to believe that this film was circulated in Italy without Italian subtitles...
A couple of moments are touching, and Tornatore usually can do this well by using children. Wouldn't...
Published 1 month ago by Roberto56


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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely memory piece courtesy of Giuseppe Tornatore, 18 July 2011
By 
The CinemaScope Cat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baaria [DVD] (DVD)
In a tiny Sicilian village called Baaria, the film follows three generations and 60 years from the 1920s through the 1980s. The main protagonist is Peppino (Francesco Scianna), the son of a shepherd, who becomes a committed communist during WWII. He falls in love with the lovely Mannina (Margareth Made) and they raise a family but his commitment to communism keeps him away for much of the time even as he slowly becomes disillusioned. I've never understood the great affection for director Giuseppe Tornatore's CINEMA PARADISO that most film lovers have but Tornatore's work here, though flawed, is both ambitious and beautiful. Though the film clocks in at 2 1/2 hours, the film seems choppy. Tornatore tries to cram too many stories, too many incidents and too many characters in the running time so that we never quite have the time get to know anybody but Peppino and his wife. Fortunately, the appealing Scianna and fetching Made hold our interest. The film needs a more leisurely pace. I suspect that a director's cut would run closer to 4 hours and I'd love to see that version. Visually, the film is stunning, Enrico Lucidi's wide screen images among the most beautiful I've ever seen and at times, it seems enough to just bask in those images. The ending is a real beauty. The gorgeous score is by Ennio Morricone. The massive cast includes Angela Molina and Monica Bellucci.

The e-one DVD from Great Britain is a top notch wide screen (2.35) transfer.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sicilian epic in its a own right, not a second-rate Cinema Paradiso., 19 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Baaria [DVD] (DVD)
Beautifully filmed, a sheer visual delight, which is what you would expect from Tornatore. Everyone seeing Baaria will presumably have seen Cinema Paradiso first, which may induce misleading expectations. This is much more than the life story of one man, it is the story of the town as well, and of rural, small-town Sicily in the context of 20th century Italy as a whole. Peppino, the hero, is a much more human character than Salvatore (in Cinema Paradiso), because the life of Peppino and the life of the town are fleshed out in much greater detail - much more background incident, incidentally allowing a number of well-known Italian actors to take small parts. The final scenes create a nicely rounded ending. If I had to make a criticism, I would say that Tornatore tries to pack too much into 144 minutes; I would happily have sat through a more leisurely, longer version of the film, if only to protract the pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I liked this one even less than his previous ones, 21 July 2014
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Not a fan of Tornatore, I must say. However, I liked this one even less than his previous ones. Although Italian by birth, I could only understand thanks to the English subtitles. I refuse to believe that this film was circulated in Italy without Italian subtitles...
A couple of moments are touching, and Tornatore usually can do this well by using children. Wouldn't consider sitting through it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super, 14 July 2013
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This is a super film....Its in Italian though, so if you don't like subtitles, forget it. It tells a boys life story in southern Italy over a number of years with a strange twist at the end which is done superbly. I loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this movie deserves 6 stars!, 5 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Baaria [DVD] (DVD)
Wow, what an amzing movie! I had been watching for 20 minutes when I realized I could just watch it all over again immediately after it would finish! If you don't learn to love Sicilians/ Italians after watching this, then you never will. The movie portrays the simple, yet painful life of the people of Bagheria through the twentieth century, the story is told through the life of a boy from early childhood to late adulthood. Besides an amazing, very painfully human story, it has such ridiculously funny elements,so funny that I was forced to pause several times to finish laughing before I could watch on! I do not only recommend, but will watch over and over and over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 6 Sep 2013
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This film is absolutely brilliant a must-see It is by the same director as Cinema Paradiso which was voted best foreign film of all time
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 23 Aug 2013
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Good story line - I'm learning Italian off and on so it is good to be able to listen to a good movie with English subtitles and practice without really thinking about it.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty But Pointless., 6 Mar 2011
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baaria [DVD] (DVD)
Giuseppe Tornatore seems to have taken a leaf out of Frederico Fellini by making an autobiographical film about life in the town of his birth. Tornatore does for Bagheria in Sicily what Fellini did for Rimini, but the big difference being that Fellini made an excellent film, whilst the same cannot be said for Tornatore's. It is usually a sign of a director's stature that he has the clout to make an autobiographical film, and Tornatore certainly has that, largely lunching out on the success of his famous "Cinema Paradiso" a film full of his colourful saccharine saturated touches. In that film they worked, but in this one they fall flat, lost amongst the confusing events of the story. Even poor old Sergio Leone never had the opportunity make a film about his boyhood much as he would have liked to.

The story concerns the fortunes of a Sicilian peasant family across three generations over a period of 60 years from the 1920s until the 1980. The main character is Peppino the cocksure son of a shepherd who raises a family during the political upheaval in Italy following the difficult years after World War Two. He pursues his own political ambitions in the communist party, even undertaking a visit to the Soviet Union to further these aims. Being an Italian film, love is of course a main ingredient, whilst politics runs it a very close second. Another typically Italian flourish is their love of cinema. No country ever embraced the love of cinema in quite the same way. An irrepressibly romantic people they fully embraced the dream following the austerity of the post war years. Tornatore obliges this love with many scenes based around the cinema. So what went wrong!

Alas, the film is so insular that it does not travel well outside of Italy. In fact it might not even travel well outside of Sicily, but I may have to ask an Italian about that. The original version was filmed in the local Sicilian Baariotu dialect and was later dubbed into Italian. Much of the humour is of a typically bawdy Italian nature which I struggled with. Having thought that was hard to follow I had to give up altogether in trying to unravel the complicated politics woven into the story. This is supposedly the most expensive Italian production ever. Filmed around Bagheria in Sicily, known in the local slang as Baaria, and also in Tunisia where a more 20th Century looking town was recreated, the film has the lovely rich colours and quality of light that those regions are known for. But this is perhaps the films main plus point apart from the beautiful Margareth Made who demands attention whilst on screen. Sadly Tornatore simply over indulges himself. No real story or theme is explored leaving the film with a hollow centre that cannot be filled. It becomes a purely personal vision viewed through extra rose tinted spectacles, even by Tornatore's sugary standards. Even the brilliant Ennio Morricone is at last showing signs of aging with a very nondescript musical score. One cannot help but think that this was a great opportunity lost.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great movie, but ok, 1 July 2013
By 
Dr. Bernardo Pinto Almeida (Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baaria [DVD] (DVD)
I am not a great fan of Tornatore's movies, though I think he has some charme.
This is once again the case. A well told tale on the history of italy throughout 2 or 3 generations.
Beeing not a great movie, it is far better than the pretentious 1900 by Bertolucci. Grat actprs, besides, and a very gracious visit to the magic Sicilly helps the movie to be a pleasant experience
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work, 19 Jun 2013
By 
Vibeke Dijkman "VDelahunt" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This film is hard work and very long. The shots of Sicily over time are nice but the story is way too long.
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Baaria [DVD]
Baaria [DVD] by Guiseppe Tornatore (DVD - 2011)
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