Maléna: From the writer/director of Cinema Paradiso, this nostalgia driven film is about a teenage boy’s first obsession with a lady, Monica Bellucci, who the entire town perves on & gossips about. We all remember our first unattainable crush, but this film goes little too far as we see the kid transform from casual degenerate, to voyeur, then pant-snatchng sex-pest weirdo-stalker… definitely take this with a pinch of salt! The passion and intensity of Italians really shines through in the characters, which makes is great to watch, if a little OTT, and the visuals harness the best of picturesque Italy / Sicily. The tone of the film takes a massive U-turn near the end, from sugar-coated to bleak, although it coincides with the main’s realisation about his love. In the end, as she was the focus of pretty much every scene this film is to Monica Bellucci what Volver was to Penelope Cruz, but a lot kinkier with much more nudity (unfortunately 15 minutes of skin is cut from the UK release!!). But why do directors always give her on-screen beatings?!?! The cinematography, Bellucci and accompanying score were the only real stars of this.

Score: 4.5/10


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