Chanelling both Olmi and Fellini, Alice Rohrwacher's "The Wonders" represents Italian cinema at its best. Like Olmi's "Tree of Wooden Clogs" or more recently, Frammartino's "Le Quattro Volte" it's another classic picture of rural life with a touch of late Fellini thrown in, (in the form of the slightly surreal television competition that gives the film its name).
It's about a family of bee-keepers, struggling to make a living in Etruscany. The German father is something of a wastrel, the mother has mostly given up and it's left to the oldest daughter to hold things together. The writer and director Alice Rohrwacher, it was only her second feature film, neither romanticises or sentimentalises their situation and the film works both as a rural idyll and another wonderful addition to the cinema of childhood, (the adults seem to be figures in the background). Intelligent and very moving.