BELLISSIMA
1951, Movietime, 108 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Anna Magnani is unforgettable as Maddalena, a working-class Italian convinced that her daughter could be the next Shirley Temple in this neorealist dramedy. Against the advice of her husband (Gastone Renzelli), Maddalena spends a small fortune on clothes, hairstyling, ballet lessons and anything that might give little Maria (Tina Apicella) the edge in auditions – only to discover that the movie business isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Real-life director Alessandro Blasetti plays himself in the film, which reportedly was inspired when Visconti cast a child’s role in an earlier production and was deluged by stage mothers.


RATATOUILLE
2007, Walt Disney Pictures, 111 min, USA, Dir: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

This Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature follows Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), a rodent who dreams of becoming a top chef. Remy gets his chance by teaming up with a garbage boy at famed Paris restaurant Gusteau's, but he must be careful – rats are killed if caught in the kitchen. A voice cast including Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo, Brian Dennehy and Peter O'Toole serves up a banquet of delicious performances. “A nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times.


HIS PICTURE IN THE PAPERS
1916, 62 min, USA, Dir: John Emerson

Douglas Fairbanks plays Pete Prindle, the son of a highly successful processed food magnate in this sassy satire about fame and advertising that, 100+ years later, still feels contemporary. Penned by the one and only Anita Loos (WILD AND WOOLLY, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES).


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