The Wonders
(Le meraviglie)

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher.
With Alba Rohrwacher, Monica Bellucci, Alexandra Lungu.
Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 2015, DCP, color, 111 min.
Italian, French and German with English subtitles.
DCP source: Oscilloscope Films

An affectionate but ultimately cutting portrait of “alternative” family life, The Wonders takes place on a bee farm kept willfully off-the-grid by a moody patriarch who enforces the hard work schedule maintained by his wife and young daughters, especially the precocious and affection-starved Gelsomina, who best understands her father’s quixotic obsessions. When Gelsomina learns of a television competition for the most authentic local produce, the film takes a Fellini-esque turn into the surreal world of a glitzy reality-variety show inspired by the ancient Etruscans. A deeply personal project, The Wonders’ tender and heart-wrenching family portrait was partially inspired by Rohrwacher’s own childhood memories and features the director’s talented sister Alba Rohrwacher in a pivotal role as an embodiment of maternal grace in the face of chaos. – HG

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