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