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MALÉNA – Ennio Morricone

December 22, 2000 Leave a comment

malenaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ennio Morricone’s fifth and final score of 2000 is for the Italian romantic-comedy-drama Maléna, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, for whom Morricone has written several classic scores, not least the incredible Cinema Paradiso. What’s interesting about Maléna is the fact that, unlike 99% of Morricone’s output of late, it has been the recipient of quite a bit of publicity, mainly through its association with the Miramax marketing machine. A second Golden Globe Best Score nomination in a row has been secured for the Italian maestro – following his success with The Legend of 1900 last year – and is backed up by a high profile soundtrack release. The only difference between this and 1900, though, is that Maléna is worthy of the praise. To quote from the Miramax press kit, Maléna is a film about a beautiful young widow who inspires a young boy’s independence and courage amongst the chaos and intolerance of war. The film stars Monica Bellucci (recently seen in Under Suspicion) as Maléna Scordia, the most ravishing woman in a sleepy Sicilian village, whose husband is away fighting in World War II. Attracting lustful glances from the men of the town, being the recipient of scornful gossip from their jealous wives, and followed wherever she goes by children on bicycles, Maléna thinks her life could not get any more difficult – until news reaches her that her husband has been killed in action. But solace comes from an unexpected place: one of the children who follow her, young Renato Amoroso (Giuseppe Sulfaro), decides to help Maléna through her suffering, and becomes her “secret shadow”, ensuring that the classical beauty is able to come to terms with her loss, and with the narrow-mindedness of her neighbors. Read more…