The extra 51 minutes are ok. I thought it might have been totally uneccessary to show what happened to the characters years later but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It was nice to see Brigette Fossey on screen again, as his girlfriend 30 years later. Maybe those 51 minutes are played a little too preciously - everyone freezing in time when the see the other characters and how they've aged - a little of that goes a long way, and some of the makeup used to age the actors is not the best. It wasn't really necessasary, I suppose, except to show that the main character needed to overcome the loss of the love of his life to have a happy future, I guess. It made me more than a little sad to realize this joyous, alive character had led an artistically successful life yet was basically unhappy. I'm not sure I understood the thesis - that he became a successful filmmmaker because of his love of movies, yet he was not able to gain any emotional insight into his owm life through all the great stories he had seen? I don't buy it. Cinema, like great literature expands your emotional life through the stories of others, among a zillion other things. Was the point that movies are basically unrealistic, with their happy endings? What about the gift the the projectionist leaves him? Symbolically will he be able to fit the lost pieces into his own life now that he has found out what happened to his lost love? I guess so. The original film has aged well, but I'm still not crazy over it, it's way too sentimental and saccherine for my taste. But I know so many people love it and it does really show a love of cinema and how it can transform lives. Even if I am not fond of the film, I respect it.