With her Cannes Best Screenplay-winning 'Happy as Lazzaro' now showing in our cinemas, rediscover Alice Rohrwacher's beguiling coming-of-age tale 'The Wonders'.
On her family’s farm in the quiet and beautiful Italian countryside, twelve-year-old Gelsomina divides her time between watching out for her three younger sisters and helping her father with his bee-keeping. Oblivious to the world outside, Gelsomina is something of a dreamer and has an extraordinary affinity with the bees, while her father is as grounded as the land he makes his living from.
One day their peaceful existence is interrupted when television competition Countryside Wonders and its glamorous host (Monica Belluci) arrive to their corner of Umbria, offering tantalising rewards to the family judged to have the best traditional Italian produce. Gelsomina is eager to enter the family and their pure golden honey, but faces resistance from her father who is more concerned with the bureaucracy threatening to derail their tiny business.
Director Alice Rohrwacher won the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix for this beautiful and mesmerising film, a bittersweet love letter to the disappearing traditions of rural Italy.
★★★★ "Magical realism, marvellous casting" - Mark Kermode, The Observer
★★★★ Kate Muir, The Times
★★★★★ "Recalls the work of Belgium’s Dardenne brothers, and perhaps even the great Italian neorealist pictures" - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph