If there’s one thing we can glean from the dueling live-action versions of Pinocchio to emerge from Italy in 2002 and 2019 respectively, it’s that Academy Award-winning actor and filmmaker Roberto Benigni really loves the source material, even if he’s much better when taking a hands-off approach.
He co-wrote, directed, and even starred in the former as the titular puppet, even though he was almost 50 at the time. A critical and commercial disaster of epic proportions, his Pinocchio barely clawed back its $40 million budget at the box office, won a Razzie for Worst Actor out of six nominations in total, and holds a big fat zero percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
On the entirely opposite side of the equation, Benigni returned to play Geppetto in Matteo Garrone’s take, which won widespread praise on its way to an 84 percent score on RT, as well as a pair of Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Benigni clearly wanted to make amends for headlining what’s comfortably the worst spin on the tale that’s ever been told in any medium, with his redemption now making an unexpected splash on streaming.
As per FlixPatrol, Pinocchio is one of the top-viewed titles on ad-supported platform Freevee this week, with subscribers getting caught up in the chaotic confusion of an Oscar-nominated remake to a Razzie-winning adaptation of a beloved story that’s been baked into the pop culture consciousness by Disney riding a most unlikely new wave of momentum.