Ever since I first saw The Legend of 1900, I've slowly but surely developed an interest in the films of Giussepe Tornatore. So far, to my knowledge, The Legend of 1900 has been his only English-spoken film. I've since watched two of his Italian films (Cinema Paradiso and Malena) and fallen in love with those films as well. There's something to be said for the way the man weaves a story that just draws you in and transcends the language barrier.
Much like with Tornatore's other films, when watching Malena, I was drawn in and blown away, often times forgetting I was even watching a foreign film (I got so used to the subtitles).
I think, maybe, Tornatore's secret is that he develops his characters so well that you can't help but feel for them. You get drawn in by them, they're all so human, so multi-dimensional... Admittedly I can be overly empathetic at times, but still-- it's hard not to be with such fantastically rich characters.
It was such a beautiful coming-of-age story... ending on such a beautiful note:
I pedaled as fast as I could, as if I were escaping from longing, from innocence, from her. Time has passed I have loved many women. And they've held me close... and asked if I will remember them... I've said, "Yes I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked--