Happy as Lazzaro
A village simpleton becomes embroiled in a plot beyond his comprehension when he catches the attention of a Machiavellian nobleman.
On a rural plantation in Italy, the gentle Lazzaro lives with his family in permanent debt to a wealthy marchesa. Just as the marchesa exploits her sharecroppers, so the other sharecroppers in turn take advantage of simple-minded Lazzaro. His gullible nature draws the attention of the marchesa’s son Tancredi—who is orchestrating his own kidnapping, for reasons beyond Lazzaro’s understanding.
Director Alice Rohrwacher’s storytelling is as ambitious as her characters’ schemes. What could have been a straightforward slice of Italian neorealist poverty porn turns into an enchanting allegory with an inspired narrative conceit that warps time and space. The result is a poetic fable that cements the Italian auteur’s status as one of the most original voices in cinema today.
Cast & Credits
Alice Rohrwacher is an Italian filmmaker. She previously directed Heavenly Body (2011) and The Wonders (2014), which clinched the Grand Prix at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. Happy as Lazzaro is her third feature and won Best Screenplay at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. Rohrwacher’s older sister is the actress Alba Rohrwacher, who stars in Happy as Lazzaro.
Adriano Tardiolo, Luca Chikovani, Alba Rohrwacher
*Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival 2018
*In Competition, Cannes Film Festival 2018
*In Competiton, Chicago International Film Festival 2018
*In Spirit of Freedom Award, Best Feature, Jerusalem Film Festival 2018
*In Competition, London Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, New Zealand International Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, New York Film Festival 2018