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19th of December 2018


Review: Alice Rohrwacher's 'Happy as Lazzaro' is an enchanting, surprising Italian fable

Rohrwacher’s movie, which won a screenplay prize at the recent Cannes Film Festival, feels recognizably of a piece with her 2015 portrait of communal life, “The Wonders,” set among a family of Tuscan beekeepers. But as a parable of transfiguration, “Happy as Lazzaro” also harks back to the director’s little-seen 2011 debut feature, “Corpo Celeste,” a tale of a teenage girl grappling with the mysteries of her Catholic faith. In that movie and especially this one, Rohrwacher proves instinctively skeptical of the religious, legal and financial institutions that hold sway in Italy and the world at large, even as she clearly cherishes the kindness and humanity that can flourish unexpectedly in their wake.

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