Classic Review: Cinema Paradiso (1988)


A film before i watched i had an inkling i would love or appreciate because of it’s subject matter; the cinema and nostalgia. I finally forced myself to watch it on Netflix (I had become quite lazy) and i loved the film! I didn’t watch the director’s cut and having known what it included I’m glad i didn’t, it might have left a sour taste in my mouth at the end instead of a sweet one. I can honestly say this is one of the best endings to any film i have ever watched, that even now i go on YouTube to replay it, because it is stunningly beautiful, the momentum of the film to the end makes it so powerful but also very unexpected! along with the beautiful score (the icing on the cake) For me the film made me think about my own life and how i want to live it, Alfredo’s advice i took in completely. Here is an expert:

Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.

Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?

Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.


This film, i watched at a great time, having studied Italian neo realism, it had a flair that was reminiscent but also a clear homage. In addition the references to all the old Hollywood films etc was a delight for me, begin an avid fan for the earlier days of Hollywood. Seeing Toto grow-up was also very enjoyable, these types of coming of age/ life stories are always successful and in this case was done very well. I enjoyed this film so much I’m planning to buy it on DVD, a huge thing for me, as i only plan to buy my favourites. I would highly suggest any lover of the cinema to go watch this film!


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