Cinema: Malena

Directed By Giuseppe Tornatore

In the title role, Monica Bellucci is gorgeous and enigmatic in a way that invites male fantasies. Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro) is a horny little boy with plenty of time to stalk but never engage her. When her soldier husband is presumed dead (the time is World War II, the place a provincial Sicilian town) Malena's reputation is dangerously sullied by gossip as she begins "dating" German soldiers. The lad remains faithful to his quest, and things finally work out all right--except for audiences, who will find this thin movie bereft of the more richly textured sentiments of Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso.

--By...

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