MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3

Its 1940, Sicily has entered World War II and the young men of the village have joined the Italian army, leaving wives behind, including the beautiful Malena Scordia (Monica Bellucci). Every day as she walks through the small village, looking neither to the right or left, old men and young boys fantasize and other wives scorn her. Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro), a 12-year-old, becomes one of Malenas most ardent admirers. He and a group of teenage boys follow her every chance they get. Renato becomes so obsessed with the beautiful young woman, he climbs a tree outside her house to spy on her. When Malenas husband is reported killed, other Sicilian men attempt to woo her. Jealous village wives accuse her of adultery and Malena must eventually face her accusers in the town square. Only Renato knows the truth, but he is just a boy. The cruelty of malicious gossip and crude lust turn an amusing coming-of-age story into serious drama. MALENA, with English subtitles, will attract those who understand the unique Italian culture of that time and their attitude toward sex.

Caught in the throes of puberty, Renato and his friends are obsessed with sex. When not following Malena, they discuss changes in their bodies, comparing them for signs of maturity. Many sexually charged images depict an adolescents fantasies of making love to Malena. Renatos urges becomes so prevalent, his mother orders a priest to exorcise his sexual demon. However, Renatos father stops the priest and takes his 12-year-old son to a house of prostitution. The boys first sexual encounter includes breast nudity and off-camera activity. When Malena is falsely accused of adultery, her lawyer demands sex for payment. Unable to support herself, the beautiful widow is forced into prostitution, fueling more rage among the other women. Renato prays for her in church, then curses God when the local women almost kill her, leaving her bloody and half-naked in the street. English subtitles include 15 obscenities, one strong profanity and numerous crudities. Endless sexual innuendo, pornographic fantasies and obscene language make MALENA a film to avoid.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax (Disney), 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (17) times Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (15) times - F-word 3, s-word 4, other 8

Profanity: Once Regular (GD)

Violence: Few times Moderate and severe (man killed in bombing, woman severely beaten by other women)

Sex: Implied few times (boy in house of prostitution - breast nudity, woman pays legal fee with sex, becomes a prostitute)

Nudity: Few times (breast nudity); Near Nudity few times (woman in revealing underwear, boy implied nude in brothel)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Continuous (boys compare genitals, constant fantasizing, implied self-gratification, lewd descriptions of sex acts; woman dances sensuously)

Drugs: None

Other: Destructive effects of gossip; boy prays for woman/ curses God when prayer not answered; father arranges for son to have sex

Running Time: 106 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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