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The Star Maker

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Director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) remains madly, infectiously in love with the movies. His story of con man Joe Morelli (Sergio Castellitto), who travels to remote towns in postwar Sicily promising people stardom and charging for ”screen tests,” offers alternately delightful and moving sequences about the dreams and realities of ordinary folk. But this homage to the neorealist work of De Sica (The Bicycle Thief) and early Fellini (La Strada) exists only as a collection of moments that, however wonderful they may be, lack a narrative pulse. When Morelli finally meets a beautiful waif (Tiziana Lodato), the drama comes alive, sadly, all too late. If you do watch this, rent La Strada and see how it’s supposed to be done. B-