December 12, 2013 5:45 pm

Review: Cinema Paradiso

Nostalgia and sentimentality are the beating heart of Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1988 film
'Cinema Paradiso'

'Cinema Paradiso'

I confess that the 1988 Cinema Paradiso – about a poor child whose life in 1940s Sicily is enriched by the movies – has always been a loathed film of mine (how I have scoffed at its relentless sentimentality). And yet re-watching it this week, I must admit – tear-sodden – that they don’t make them like that any more.

With Giuseppe Tornatore’s film you must hold the idea that something beloved can also not be terribly good in your mind at the same time. The quality of the movie doesn’t really matter – this is a film about nostalgia and sentimentality. The blind projectionist! The montage of great screen kisses! The child grown into a feted but lonely film director! Its confidence is staggering. And its commitment to a classic narrative that is also essentially a parable story, markedly unusual. They really don’t make them like that any more. Which is probably (sobs, blows nose) a bloody good thing.

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