Giuseppe Tornatorre’s Cinema Paradiso (1988) is a monumental picture that remains timeless 31 years later.
Everyone has a certain film that is so close to their heart. For some that maybe It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), or even modern treats like Lady Bird (2017). For me, it is Guiseppe Tornatore’s Academy Award-winning 1988 masterpiece, Cinema Paradiso. From its opening shot to its phenomenal ending the film captivates every emotion that is capable of being felt.
Cinema Paradiso (1988) looks at the life of an old Italian director who must go back to his hometown in Italy and confront his life before he left his home after hearing the news of his father figure passing away. The film is accompanied by exquisite direction and cinematography. It is also followed by its young and older cast members portraying every character on screen. The most captivating part of Cinema Paradiso (1988)? It is none other than Ennio Morricone’s heartbreakingly beautiful score that tugs on the heartstrings. No score is capable of automatically drawing tears from its first note like this beautiful piece of art.
It is so hard for me to fully explain what makes this film so special to me granted most of my work is reviews. This film could easily be written off as an old man reflecting on his childhood is much more than that. There is a sense of dread but admiration for what Alfredo did for Toto. He did not just introduce him to his love of cinema, but he introduced him to the unconditional love from a father figure that he was longing for. Toto must confront the loss of someone he cherished so much, but also realize that because of Alfredo he had someone who pushed him constantly to be the best he could be. So when it comes to that amazing ending and Toto receives the final gift from Alfredo, he is reminded that even though his decisions weren’t perfect they were imperative to take.
Cinema Paradiso (1988) is not just a movie about the love of cinema but the love of our mother, father, first job, friends, and of course our first love. It is a timeless classic that extends from the country of Italy to the rest of the world.