On mood-over-plot films like ‘The Wonders’ and female filmmakers like Alice Rohrwacher

Posted on June 4, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: <a href=”https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/why-mood-over-plot-films-like-the-wonders-and-female-filmmakers-like-alice-rohrwacher-stand-out-4494957.html

Alice Rohrwacher won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes, this year, for Lazzaro Felice (Happy as Lazaro). Her earlier feature, Le Meraviglie (The Wonders), won the Grand Prix at Cannes, in 2014. But she seems fairly unknown outside the hard-core cinephile crowd – which is what I was getting at, in last week’s column, when I said the golden age of art-house cinema, one where general audiences at least knew the important names even if they were interested in watching the films, may be behind us. But there’s probably another reason Rohrwacher hasn’t broken out beyond the festival circuit. The critics’ ratings at the Rotten Tomatoes page for The Wonders stands at an impressive 95%, and one of the critics who fell in the other 5% is Colin Covert, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His summary: “This may be the best non-prescription sleep aid on the market.”

I love the film, so it’s always interesting to read the reviews from those who hated it – or at least, had problems with it. (“What didn’t they like?” is always more interesting than “Let’s see all the ways this critic agrees with me.”) Variety gave a meh-ish review as well, but before we get to that, let’s look at the film, which centres on Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lungu), the eldest daughter of hippie parents, who cling to the old ways in the midst of increasing modernisation. Their farm, which includes a honey-producing unit, is defiantly old-school. Two events disrupt this way of life. First, the arrival of a German boy named Martin (Luis Huilca Logrono), whom Gelsomina’s father, Wolfgang (Sam Louwyck), takes in partly because he needs a farmhand, partly because he desires a son, and partly because of the childcare money that comes with Martin. (The boy is overseen by a delinquent rehabilitation programme.)

Continued at the link above.

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