It's really presumptuous of me to think that I can even begin to give it proper review; however, it occurred to me that some people haven't seen it yet and I think I should provide some teasers.
First, Italian film making is among the finest. It's sensuous and European in its spontaneity. The things they take for granted tend to shock us because we live in such an emotionally-sterile work tank here in the US. The viewers intelligence, furthermore, is not underestimated so much as it is with big box office 'hits' -- I mean, the film is edited so that you can use your memory to recall scenes that seemed totally random and weightless but become relevant and heavy in the end of the movie, as the lives of the people unfold.
It's almost a cascade effect emotionally -- as the lite scenes overlap and stick to one another to form real people -- and it leads to deeper identification with the characters and thus enjoyment of the film.
Next, the people in this film are handsome, women and men. The acting is first-rate and natural. I don't think Italians can overact because they are already passionate and they basically need to memorize their lines and forget about the camera. It's really refreshing to see a seemingly effortless performance.
Finally, the plot is one many can identify with. Childhood attachments. Your parents' frustrations. Leaving home to pursue destiny. Returning home to touch a root that, no matter how high you fly, anchors you to a rich hereditary, cultural reality that is eluding in its profundity and timelessness. See Cinema Paradiso.