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De Sica's "Miracle"
on 4 February 2009
The group of Films that Director Victorrio De Sica and Screenwriter Cesare Zavattini created in the late 40s/early 50s may not in these cynical hard times be as cricticly acclaimed as they once were, but to me they are amongst the most likable, human and sincere in all Cinema.
De Sica followed up the ultimately tragic "Bicycle Thieves" with this much more light hearted fable "Miracle in Milan". But it is not without De Sica's usual social concerns ie the sharp division between rich and poor, and the cynical opportuinism that big business sometimes adopts (perhaps portrayed by figures who are delibrately exaggerated, but in a very witty way).
Without going too much into the plot, our hero Toto is a young man who manages to create a shantytown for the homeless of Milan whom he truly inspires. However, once oil is discovered on the land, business and the authorities coludes to move them out. That is when the magic of the Film, starts to happen leading to a literally "divine" finale in front of Milan Cathedral.
"Miracle in Milan" although in the Neorealist tradition (particularly in the first half) is more of a charming fantasy with a considerable comedic touch.
As for the DVD itsef, the picture quality is perfectly adequte. There are some extras, but it would have been nice to have had some more. These do include charming footage of the Films premiere, with introductions from De Sica himself and leading actor Francesco Golisano.