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My Buddy, Mr J. Christopher Wilson is reviewing some movies and series.  He has agreed for us to post his reviews here.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’s PINOCCHIO is a feast of beauty, charm, and childhood magic. I almost missed it despite it 1) being by the famed director and 2) it being an Oscar-nominated film. The supremely boring Disney version colored my vision and turned me off. Luckily, a trusted friend and movie lover convinced me otherwise.

On a day off work due to a stomach flu, I gave the DEL TORO PINOCCHIO a chance and it enthralled me from start to end. It well deserves its Oscar nomination.

This PINOCCHIO is not only the best, but as far as I am concerned, it is the only version. None others exist for me. DEL TORO keeps the rich historical backdrop of WWII and the fascist Italian dictator Mussolini in this adaptation, grounding it in a fantastical authenticity. The darkness of fascism juxtaposed with Pinocchio’s childhood innocence and purity creates a dynamic story with layers of complexity, symbolism, and rich themes. Yet it’s open and accessible to children.

There’s so much to deconstruct and analyze like the connection between wooden Jesus on the cross and wooden Pinocchio, or Sebastian’s home in Pinocchios chest, or the character development of the circus monkey sidekick. That is, if one is so inclined to explore the film in those ways. But it’s not necessary. The film’s appeal is gorgeous and enjoyable without any literary analysis, which is what makes it so worthy of an Oscar nomination and a viewing outside of any preconceived notions or Disney influence. This is film.
Grade A
Available on Netflix
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