The Star Maker is written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore who was at the helm of Cinema Paradiso and A Pure Formality. Once again this Italian explores the sacred dimensions of storytelling when people open their souls to share their most intimate experiences.
Sergio Castellitto plays Joe Morelli, a hustler posing as a talent scout from Rome who in 1953 visits small Sicilian towns and sells dreams of fame and fortune for 1500 lire per person. The mostly illiterate men, women, and children have trouble memorizing the lines he gives them from Gone with the Wind so they speak from their hearts about their families and their personal adventures in love, war, and politics. Beata (Tiziana Lodato), a voluptuous young orphan, almost penetrates Joe's cynical veneer with her love but doesn't quite succeed. A policeman finally shatters his scam, condemning him for violating the confessions of those who went before his camera. After two years in prison, Joe sees the light and sets out to start life afresh with Beata.
This bittersweet tale of redemption conveys the power of cinema and the soulful dimensions of honest storytelling.