Alice Rohrwacher’s “The Wonders” was one of two female-directed films to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year. The coming-of-age story, set in the quiet and beautiful Umbrian countryside, ended up taking home the the festival’s second most prestigious prize, The Grand Prix. Now an English-language trailer has finally been released.
Monica Belluci co-stars as the host of “Countryside Wonders,” a TV competition offering tantalizing rewards to the nation’s “most traditionally Italian” family. Twelve-year-old Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lungu), the film’s protagonist, is eager to sign up but faces resistance from her father, a beekeeper heading the family’s honey business. “We don’t need their nonsense,” Gelsomina’s father says sternly.
Gelsomina is the oldest of four girls and something of a dreamer — a trait that causes her to clash with her father, who is as grounded as the land he makes his living from. He attempts to build walls around her, but Gelsomina refuses to be contained.
Rohrwacher, who wrote and directed the film, has previously depicted girls on the brink of change. Her 2011 film “Corpo Celeste,” or “Heavenly Body,” chronicled a thirteen-year-old’s move back to Southern Italy with her mother and sister and her efforts to figure out her place in that new, larger world.
“The Wonders” opens in the UK on July 17. A US release date has yet to be announced.