Pinocchio: Matteo Garrone’s version of Carlo Collodi’s famous fairytale retains the darkness of the story. Pinocchio ultimately is a likable character, but his misadventures start mostly through his own fault; he is naïve, overly trusting, smart, and sweet, but also a bit of a hedonist. The film is overly episodic, which breaks the flow, even if that’s respectful of the original story. Aesthetically, the film is a marvel: the beautiful locations in old rural Italy give the fairytale a strong footing in the real world and cinematographer Nicolai Brüel works greatly with light, which is always expressive. Costume design and production design are detailed, but not opulent; in both cases, they have a “lived-in” quality, always a plus. The make-up work (by Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, and Francesco Pegoretti) is exceptional: in many cases, it is a bit grotesque, but the way the protagonist is made up is fantastic, a great representation of a wooden puppet. Roberto Benigni portrays a quietly sweet Geppetto, and Federico Ielapi is charming and convincing as the protagonist. The musical score of Dario Marianelli is beautifully low-key.