Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice)
- 2hr 5m
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Beautifully shot, like Rohrwacher’s other features, on Super-16, this film, with its richly textured images, does indeed feel at times like a retrieved and rather miraculous relic from a lost era of cinema, which is not to say that it isn’t of its own moment.
The main problem of Happy as Lazzaro is that it's unclear what Rohrwacher finally wants to say in part two, which combines the near-documentary realism of her first feature with the occasional flights of fancy of her second.
If you can surrender to her peculiar vision, its beauty is undeniable; if not, impatience may set in long before the film winds down just past the two-hour mark.
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Did You Know?
- According to Alice Rohrwacher, Lazzaro Felice is "the story of a lesser sanctity, with no miracles, no powers or superpowers, without special effects. It is the sanctity of living in this world without thinking ill of anyone and simply believing in human beings. Because another way was possible, the way of goodness, which men have always ignored but which always reappears to question them. Like something that might have been but that we've never ever wanted."