Fast-talking con man Joe Morelli (Sergio Castellitto) wanders the post-WWII Sicilian countryside with an army surplus movie camera and a sideshow the likes of which the rubes have never seen. In a tent festooned with movie-star stills, Morelli displays his mysterious
machinery and holds out the promise of a glamorous and lucrative career in the cinema. There's just a small matter of 5,000 lire -- a fortune to poverty-stricken villagers -- and an audition is theirs. Giuseppe Tornatore returns to the golden tones in which his CINEMA PARADISO was bathed, evoking
a world of smugly sentimental, achingly false nostalgia. But instead of wallowing in mawkish self-congratul...