Le meraviglie (The Wonders). 2014. Italy. Written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher. With Alba Rohrwacher, Maria Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck. DCP. In Italian; English subtitles. 111 min.
In The Wonders, awarded the Grand Prize by a Cannes jury led by Jane Campion, Maria Alexandra Lungu is 12-year-old Gelsomina—her name, strength, and honesty borrowed from Giulietta Masina in La Strada—who toils for her sprawling beekeeping family in the hardscrabble Tuscan countryside. Magic arrives in the form of two strangers: a mute German boy whom her irascible father (Sam Louwyck) and beleaguered mother (Alba Rohrwacher) have taken in as a farmhand to help rescue their “crumbling kingdom”; and a Felliniesque TV talent-show host (Monica Bellucci) who comes dressed as an Etruscan Earth goddess in search of the region’s “most traditional family.”
Courtesy Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Oscilloscope Laboratories