The society of respected film critics that hands out the annual Gawad Urian in cinematic excellence

Magnifico (2003)

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Magnifico: Tearjerker made timeless by its beauty, the central hero’s magnificence

By BUTCH FRANCISCO

In 2003, the Film Ratings Board (FRB) was abolished and was replaced by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) which gave higher incentives to quality movies that were either graded A or B. (Graded A films were given a hundred per cent tax rebate, while those that got B were allowed to retrieve 65% from the taxes collected by the various cities and municipalities all over the country based on its income at the box-office.) Magnifico was its test case.

The newly sworn-in CEB members, eager to set the yardstick for graded A movies, thoroughly dissected this Maryo J. de los Reyes film and didn’t feel generous enough to give it a hundred per cent tax rebate.

The prints submitted to the board to begin with had a yellowish tinge and somehow that got in the way during the CEB screening.

Magnifico, however, had its supporters among the CEB members, the three staunchest of them being Lourd de Veyra, Ian Monsod, and this writer. We pointed out that whatever defect the prints had could still be corrected which true enough were made in time for the film’s premiere several days later.Read complete review