Giuseppe Tornatore’s film, released in 2001 in France, returns to Arte.
The 7th channel offers you an evening full of passion, tonight: Malena, the story of a young Sicilian boy who falls under the spell of a widow from his village, played by Monica Bellucci, and tries to help him when he understands that she is the target of jealousy and lusts on the part of her neighbors, will be followed by Link, by Ingmar Bergman, who tells the story of a mother’s extramarital affair with an American archaeologist. Note that this second film is already visible on Arte.TV.
Unfortunately, the first had not convinced First when it was released in the cinema in 2001 (right between the big hits of the Pact of Wolves and Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra). If Christian Jauberty recognized the talent of the Italian actress, as well as that of Ennio Morricone, who composed his music, he regretted that the director of Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore, does not fall too easily into clichés. Here is an excerpt from our review: “Tornatore tries to reconnect with Cinema Paradiso’s winning formula: sensuality, nostalgia, Catholic guilt. But too many easy gags, clichés and a few eruptions of bitter realism chop up the film, where the portrait remains superficial.”
Malena was however a very important feature film in the career of Monica Bellucci, who told us, in 2017: “The ‘little’ films that I have made have curiously been better stepping stones than the others. Malena and The apartment are part of. The first was co-produced by Miramax. The Weinstein brothers therefore pushed him to death, until the Golden Globes. I can tell you that it is thanks to this visibility that I was able to make The sun’s Teardrops, the Matrix, The Passion of Christ and many others. The apartment was also decisive. He won a Bafta (the British Caesars) and called Stephen Hopkins’ attention to me. He was the one who offered me my first major role in Hollywood, in Suspicion (new adaptation of the novel that inspired Jail), a film thanks to which I was able to climb the steps for the first time in Cannes, where it was presented in a midnight screening. “
Monica Bellucci comments on her filmography