Baarìa – Review

Guiseppe Tornatore’s latest is a true magnum opus. Set over the course of one hundred years in the Torrenuova family, at times, it feels a curious hybrid of D.H. Lawrence and Steven Spielberg shot through a Marxist prism. Of course Baarìa is sentimental and uneven, but it does achieve moments of exquisite cinema aided by gorgeous cinematography and great performances.

Cinema Paradiso will hang around Tornatore’s neck like a lead weight for the rest of his career. But you sense this is his most personal work. He weaves a sprawling tapestry to create a working class epic paying tribute not only to his old neighbourhood Bagheria (Baarìa is the slang term), but the Sicilian national character. He’s proven to be a highly influential film-maker since the late 1980s with his focus on romanticised depictions of his country’s culture and way of life.

There is a less healthy influence,
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