While attempting Felliniesque poeticism tinged with neo-realistic fantasy, veteran helmer Beppe Cino creates an overly precious, rosy colored slice of life in the shadow of the Mafia in “Miracle in Palermo!” Despite big names in the cast, the only miracle here will be if pic garners attention outside of Sicily — much less outside of Italy.
Twelve-year-old Toto (Michele Lucchese) saw his father gunned down by the Mob and silently swore vengeance. He and brother Rosario (Marco Correnti) plunder garbage heaps and sell the junk to distant cousin Sparagna (Tony Sperandeo), who’s got the hots for the kids’ mom, floor scrubber Sara (Maria Grazia Cucinotta). Taking place through the course of one day, pic is populated with various kooks — like orator/pickpocket Vincent Schiavelli — who are supposed to give a warm-hearted if larcenous feel for Palermo, but execrable acting by the juniors and overall lack of a thesis make this an unsatisfying fable that goes nowhere. Despite good location work, pic never manages to capture the magic of the city.