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A young man's infatuation for a beautiful older woman blooms amidst the outbreak of World War II in this bittersweet comedy-drama from Italy. Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro) is a 13-year-old boy growing up in a small Sicilian community. Mussolini has risen to power and has declared war upon England and France, but Renato has other things on his mind -- mostly girls. While hanging out with his friends by the seashore, Renato spies Malèna (Monica Bellucci), the daughter of one of his schoolteachers, whose husband Nino (Gaetano Aronica) is fighting with Mussolini's army. Renato is immediately… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[Tornatore] eludes sentimentality with a romantic vision wide enough to embrace the range of human experience."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Its heart is in the right place."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Malèna barely speaks a word in the film, but Belucci makes a role that is written as a symbol into a full-blooded person."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"A fully-fleshed out portrait, swirled in sweetness and nostalgia."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"...ravishing to look at...the lush cinematography and luxuriant musical score adding to our enjoyment. But, ultimately, the film disappoints by not being about very much."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Bereft of the more richly textured sentiments of Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Transparently misogynist at its core."
‑ Kevin Maynard, Mr. Showbiz
"For those of us who love Cinema Paradiso, the news that its Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore and his musical soulmate Ennio Morricone were getting back together to do another coming-of-age film, Malena, gave us tantalizing hope. Malena fa"
‑ Tony Macklin, Las Vegas CityLife
"La historia trata en realidad también de Italia y la pérdida de inocencia, de los costumbrismos y elementos regionales..."
‑ Alex Ramirez, Cinenganos
"Sutil recordatorio de que, en pleno inicio del siglo XXI, la imaginación y la pureza de corazón se mantienen más que vigentes."
‑ Jorge Avila Andrade, Moviola
"Despite Bellucci's strong presence in a role with little dialogue, the central character never really comes alive in any way interesting enough to give her ordeal much genuine pathos."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"An affecting coming-of-age story."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Tornatore's Malena is to adolescence what his Cinema Paradiso was to childhood, a lyrical if sentimental fable about the perils of gowing up and the power of the imagination."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"With Fellini and Leoni gone, who now stands as Italy's greatest living filmmaker? ... The correct answer has to be Giuseppe Tornatore."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Nonetheless, unlike his earlier and far superior "Cinema Paradiso," "Malena" often feels more repulsive than touching."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Lawrence Journal-World
More reviews for Malena on Rotten Tomatoes

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