from the italian guy that brought us the excellent cinema paradiso comes the beautifully shot but cringefully bad malena. granted it had the siracusa(syracuse, sicily) backdrop and the beyond-hot monica bellucci(damn!), but that wasn’t near enough to make up for the goonish italian townspeople, a story full of holes, and the stupid, horny kid who follows her around throughout. i don’t know italian, but even i could tell that the acting was terrible and cartoonish, on the level of that clown from life is beautiful, roberto benigni. my particular favorite scene was the one where the camera zooms in on the little kid’s erection when he first sees malena walk down the street(so classy!). and the scene where the jealous townswomen exact their revenge on malena goes on way too long. the only good thing that came out of it was finding out that siracusa might be a cool place to visit and my discovery of, as the film states more than once, “a great piece of ass”.

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