Of the approximately 700 Pinocchio movies over the years, only one of which is any good, Roberto Benigni starred in arguably the worst. His 2002 adaptation has a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (a.k.a. it pulled a Bucky Larson) with scathing reviews like, “The idea of 49-year-old Roberto Benigni playing the wooden boy Pinocchio is scary enough. The reality of the new live-action Pinocchio he directed, cowrote and starred in borders on the grotesque.” But despite the critical drubbing and low box-office total, the Life Is Beautiful star made another Pinocchio movie, this time as a director and with an actual child as the wooden boy. Maybe this one will be better and cuter?
Definitely not cuter! (He looks like Russell Crowe in Les Misérables meets Cats). But it is supposedly better. If Benigni’s Pinocchio doesn’t do it for you, however, there’s always Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio or Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio or the inevitable prequel series where we see Geppetto as a young man. He will be played by a hot 24-year-old.
Here’s the official plot synopsis.
Shot in stunning Italian locations, Matteo Garrone’s rich world of mystery and wonder stars Academy Award-winning actor Roberto Benigni as Geppetto, the old woodcarver whose puppet creation, Pinocchio, magically comes to life with dreams of becoming a real boy. Easily led astray, Pinocchio (nine-year-old Federico Ielapi) tumbles from one misadventure to another as he is tricked, kidnapped and chased by bandits through a wonderful world full of imaginative creatures – from the belly of a giant fish, to the Land of Toys and the Field of Miracles.
Pinocchio opens in limited theaters on Christmas.