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1,074 Ratings

Happy as Lazzaro

Lazzaro felice

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher
Italy, Switzerland, 2018


Lazzaro, a peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, meets Tancredi, a nobleman cursed by his imagination. They find joy in a pastoral world of deception and lies. The truth will separate them, but Lazzaro’s loyalty will lead him to travel in time, landing in a bleak city.

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Happy as Lazzaro Directed by Alice Rohrwacher

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2018 | Winner: Best Screenplay

Independent Spirit Awards

2019 | Nominee: Best International Film

International Film Festival Rotterdam

2019 | Winner: Youth Jury Award

At once palimpsestic and precise, Happy as Lazzaro layers together Biblical allegory, Italian history, and its own neorealistic forebears without compromising the lucidity of its politics.
January 02, 2019
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As played by the young, sweet-faced Italian actor Adriano Tardiolo, the slightly cherubic Lazzaro is a figure of pure grace, and a seemingly ideal protagonist for a beautifully crafted and surpassingly lyrical movie with the tone and texture of a folktale.
December 13, 2018
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These landscapes recall the soothing pastoralism of Ermanno Olmi’s post-neorealist films, scenes grounded by an impulse towards mundane detail and naturalistic camerawork. But what sets Rohrwacher on a terrain of her own is the distinct way she centers anachronism as an existential condition.
December 06, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    If you find yourself wondering what year this is at the beginning, hold that thought. What unfurls, in unexpected ways, feels like a trek through a half century of Italian history (and cinema), with the continuing story of the Holy Fool at the center and both realism and magic at the edges. Its wrestle with a changing political/religious culture can be a touch too blunt—but ever mysterious enough to entrance.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    LEFFEST. This a 2-part film, in which the second one is an obvious metaphorization that produces an explanatory exemplarity, repeatedly written. However, a whole intense first part stands out, beautiful in its ability to frame beings, their human dimensions, in spaces and which recovers a rich tradition of an already lost Italian cinema. And Adriano Tardiolo, with a blind-eyed look that devours everything (...)

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    The furious social commentary put me in mind of an old Godard quote: "When shit's worth money, the poor won't have arseholes." Here Rohrwacher announces herself as the clear descendant of Pasolini & Bresson. The warm naturalism, which borders on the documentary, is undercut by moments of disarming magical realism. The sense of time & place is disorienting - intentionally - to present the betrayal of its protagonists.

  • Carlos Filipe Freitas's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    Despite the idyllic nature of great part of the story, the pace was never affected. In fact, it was often used to lure and hypnotize in conjunction with the powerful images. Not eschewing subtly wry humor, this depiction of irreparable loss, is an eye-opener for the strange direction the world is taking these days. Rohrwacher’s work is brilliant and very much recommended. (4.5 stars)

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    Alice Rohrwacher has created a lovely fable that brings to mind Italian Neorealism and serves as the perfect alternative to the bourgeois perspective class films that seem to be so prevalent in contemporary cinema...

  • Jérémy Poirier's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    A truly beautiful and deeply fascinating cinematic gem. The cinematography is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time and the originality and audacity of Alice Rohrwacher’s screenplay and directing is really unique, especially the first hour of the film which could not be more perfect. An unforgettable film that grows on you and will probably get more meaning with new viewings. A very surprising and great film.

  • Jason's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    HAPPY AS LAZZARO is right up there w/ OEDIPUS REX, man. Myth that feels ancient, like it's been around forever, hovering, teaching us, however cryptically, most of what we need to know. It is real and it is magic so many will rightly point to Latin American influences. I also couldn't help but think of Olmi's THE LEGEND OF THE HOLY DRINKER, another mystical parable, equally some kind of incandescent bravura alchemy.

  • manybits's rating of the film Happy as Lazzaro

    Introducing Lazzaro, homo sacer, idiot savant (but he is no Forrest, thankfully). Rohrwacher's latest film is a great metaphor of contemporary, populist Italy, a social and environmental disaster where institutional demagoguery is used to exploit the working class. As Italians say, "si stava meglio quando si stava peggio" (it was better when it was worse).

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