REVIEW: Le meraviglie [The Wonders] [2014]

“When he’s not here we can breathe, right?” The running joke throughout Alice Rohrwacher’s Le meraviglie [The Wonders] is that eldest daughter Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lingu) is in charge of the family. It’s a cutely simple way in which parents Wolfgang (Sam Louwyck) and Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher) can disarm outsiders threatening their livelihood. The family is struggling so it’s easy to position a child as the honey business’ face because Dad’s anything but warm and inviting. But Gelsomina is of the age where quiet acquiesce has become impossible despite truly…

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VIFF11 REVIEW: Rundskop [Bullhead] [2011]

“My dad says I wasn’t allowed to say anything” The name Michael R. Roskam may become very familiar around cinematic circles—possibly as soon as next spring. Beating out all other accomplished filmmakers from Belgium, it is this writer/director’s first feature Rundskop [Bullhead] that has won the honor of representing its country at the Oscars. You’ll understand why it prevailed quickly, earning the praise of not just being a great debut, but a great film too. Assured, intelligent, and gripping, this gangster tale isn’t necessarily unique in tone but is completely…

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