Gelsomina, 14. lives in the countryside in Umbria with her pleasantly dysfunctional family. Her secret microcosm is shattered with the arrival of Martin, a young German criminal belonging to a reintegration program.
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The father is older and worried about work and productivity. But the girls are still young, and want life to have wonders. It's a lovely premise for a family portrait, and naming the main character Gelsomina (after the Fellini heroine who opens hearts just by being herself) is a nice nod to history. If the third act weren't so diffuse, this could be something really special. As is, solid, lyrical arthouse.
Wonderfully strong characters that we care about, a unique setting and camera work that is consistently supportive of the story and gradual crossing into the world of mythology. Not an easy feat but it's handled with subtlety and a beautiful, lo-fi toolset. 4 stars
"Drama-poetry" framed by a solid fiction and brilliant performances. However, there's a clear limitation in its writing: a formlessness purposely anonymous to "pass" the fiction, as a guarantee of "more truth", and a camera upon the actors, following the documentary clichés, introducing too much "noise" - apart the first and the last two sequences, exactly those who because of their formalism have more significance.
2.5 Some moments of beauty, tenderness and stillness; but overall, ended up underwhelming. A bitpart by Sabine Timoteo got me wondering about her career; early on she had majestic towering performances where she dominated films like Love, In Den Tag, Free Will, but recently what a disappointment her catalogue of work has been =(
Some narrative stains can’t nullify the enchanting ability to extol the inner life of a young woman through the wanderer camera’s eye. The idyllic, and yet tough, landscape imprints an anchoretic aura to a familiar setting, enabling Gelsomina’s psychology to disclose itself as a tumultuous core (the windy storm\the adulthood appetite), and a loneliness shelter (dead bees, an illegitimate camel\being-out-place).