Winner of a major award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s gently paced but utterly enthralling coming-of-age drama The Wonders (Le meraviglie) more than lives up to its title. The film revolves around an adolescent girl (Maria Alexandra Lungu) from a stubbornly independent, hippyish family of beekeepers living in the backwaters of Tuscany and explores her gradual awakening to the possibilities presented by the wider world.
Meanwhile, her level-headed mother (played by the director’s sister, Alba Rohrwacher) is becoming more and more exasperated by the failings of her obstinate, idealistic husband (Sam Louwyck)…
The film’s overall mood is highly naturalistic but there is an almost surreal strangeness to some of its scenes, as when the heroine lets bees crawl out of her mouth during the dreamlike staging of a cheesy reality TV show hosted by the glamorous Milly Catena – an entertaining cameo from Monica Bellucci – into which the family gets drawn.
Certificate 15. Runtime 111 mins. Director Alice Rohrwacher
The Wonders debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere today and is available on DVD from Soda Pictures.