Happy As Lazzaro6th June, 2019
Beloved by audiences and critics at Cannes (where it was awarded the Best Screenplay prize), Alice Rohrwacher’s beautiful, much-anticipated new film is beguiling allegory of love, loss and compassion exploring the troubled soul of Italy.
It’s summer at Inviolata, an isolated rural estate, where an extended family of tobacco farmers toil under the rule of a domineering marchesa, and where the handsome and hard-working Lazzaro (captivating newcomer Adriano Tardiolo), a young man imbued with a saint-like innocence, is alternately adored and taken advantage of . When the marchesa’s self-absorbed son, Tancredi (Luca Chikovani) first visits the fields, he senses an opportunity, and embroils Lazzaro in an audacious plan to swindle his mother.
Although this all seems to be taking place in the past, a stunning mid-film leap vaults the narrative squarely to the bustling streets of a wintry city, and into the realm of powerful, deeply-affecting parable.
Channelling the spirit of Pasolini, Rohrwacher’s fascinating tale casts an ethereal, wondrous spell, and confirms her status as one of the most inventive and compelling voices in contemporary Italian cinema with this utterly transporting film experience.