‘Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as 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’
Well, IMDB says: “A woman provokes sensual awakenings in a group of adolescent boys.” At first glance this makes you wonder if this is a bit, you know “smutty?” It’s an utterly insufficient description though for what is an excellent and moving piece of World Cinema.
It’s 1940 in the Sicilian town of Castelucto in Italy. A local teenager, Renato, has developed a “crush” on local lady Malèna Scordia whose husband, away from home due to the war, has been reported dead leaving his wife Malèna on her own. Malèna is very beautiful and this leads to many of the local women spreading false rumours about her as she never fails to turn their husband’s heads. The only person who knows these rumours are mendacious, sadly because he spies on Malèna due to his infatuation for her, is Renato. Malèna has to adjust to life without her husband and is played superbly by Monica Bellucci. There are some very “sexy” scenes as well as some “harrowing” scenes of Malèna at the hands of her tormentors. There is also some humour which mainly revolves around Renato’s need to “fulfil” himself.
There are some downsides of course. It’s in Italian (English subtitles) and whilst this is not an issue for myself I know it’s not everybody’s “cup of tea”, plus of course it’s not one to watch with the children around.
I give it 8 out of 10.