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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie shows how movies transcend cultures, unify a community, and bridge the gap between generations. The importance and benefits of a fatherless child being mentored into a job by someone older is also shown. Integrity is a major theme.
Positive Role Models
Alfredo takes Toto under his wing despite Toto's constant proclivity toward misbehavior and ends up playing an instrumental role in helping him to grow up and be the successful man he becomes later. Toto learns responsibility by taking over as the projectionist at the Cinema Paradiso.
Violence & Scariness
Alfredo is severely burned in a fire. Fighting, hitting, violent scenes from movies. A boy in his late teens is punched in the face by a bully and is later revealed to have a black eye. A man who has routinely spat from his seat in the balcony in a theater is hit in the face with feces. An abusive teacher slaps a boy in the head and hits him with a ruler in front of a classroom of children who laugh at him because he doesn't know his multiplication tables.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief shots of exposed breasts in black-and-white movies. While nothing is explicitly shown, a group of young teens is obviously in the act of masturbation while in a theater watching a Brigitte Bardot movie. A man grabs a woman's breasts and starts to moan and grind his body into hers.
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Occasional profanity: "s--t," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "damn," "ass." A young boy exclaims, "Up yours!"
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking, including a scene in which two young children smoke. Wine drinking; some characters appear drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cinema Paradiso is a 1988 Italian coming-of-age movie in which a young Sicilian boy is taken under the wing of an older man who teaches him about the love of movies and helps him find his purpose in life. It's a charming tale of friendship and the love of movies that's the perfect introduction to foreign films for teens, despite some iffy scenes -- including a scene where young teens are obviously (if not explicitly shown) masturbating in a theater to a Brigitte Bardot movie, and a man who spits on those below him while in the balcony of the theater eventually gets pelted in the face with feces. Expect brief shots of exposed breasts in black-and-white movies. A man grabs a woman's breasts and starts to moan and grind his body into hers. There is some profanity throughout ("s--t," "bitch"), and two kids smoke a cigarette. A man is shown catching on fire in a projection booth and is rescued by a young boy who drags him down the stairs of the burning building. There is also some bullying -- a young boy is slapped in the head and hit with a ruler by a teacher when he doesn't know the answer to a multiplication problem, and a young man is punched in the face by a bully while trying to woo a beautiful woman. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This bittersweet film is a bit slow for teens, but anyone with a true love of cinema who doesn't mind some syrupy moments will be charmed.
Cinema Paradiso director Giuseppe Tornatore takes the wholesome path in showing a relationship between an adult man and a child, and in doing so he demonstrates that age is no obstacle when it comes to friendship. That's a good lesson to share with teenagers who find themselves thumbing their noses at younger kids.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.