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Splendor Review

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A struggling Italian cinema attempts in vain to resurrect it's success of yesteryear. It's young projectionist Luigi (Troisi) has his hands full as he falls in love with the beautiful usherette, Chantal (Vlady) and is given the uneviable and ill-defined duty of keeping alive the cinema's magic by the establishment's neurotic boss, Jordan (Mastroianni).

★★★★★

Splendor just goes to prove that Richard Attenborough does not have a monopoly on dewy-eyed reminiscing about the full-stalled cinemas of yesteryear. But while Dickie's outbursts are confined to awards ceremonies, the Italians go as far as making full length features about it — the chance for a good old sentimental wallow is never passed on.

Though quaint and pretty, Splendor is about as exciting as an accountant reading aloud the dwindling ticket receipts, football-result style.sp Attempts are made to jump start this lifeless enterprise. Flashbacks recall the halcyon days, voluptuous usherette Chantal offers romantic interest for the entire small town and particularly the young projectionist Luigi. He, meanwhile, is handed the baton of cinema's continuing magic by the owner, Jordan, who is doing his best to single-handedly hold out against speculative interest in his picture-palace’s freehold and the rising tide of TV philistines.

Dedicated to the perpetuation of cinema's magic, this film reminds us of the big-screen's communal pull yet, ironically, achieves little in the way of cinematic magic itself.

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