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.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
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).