Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice)

Alice Rohrwacher

If you want to make a religious movie that does not have a ridiculous effect, and which includes characters that a viewer can easily and emphatically relate to without feeling embarrassment, then you should definitely take Happy as Lazzaro as an example. Presenting the complicated story begins with rather simple characters and slow narrative, but at some point, this sketchy approach is replaced by a charming multidimensionalism. The pastoral film with some light grotesque shades becomes a messianic, political, and meaningful allegory. One environment and time is exchanged with another in a hypnotic way and by avoiding any kind of absurdity. What the audience is about to meet here is not a science fiction, but a mixture of Christianity, magical realism and ghost stories. Rohrwacher does not try to surprise the viewer with anything, but rather to make them feel uncanny. Happy as Lazzaro reminds not so much of a movie, but it’s more like an icon of some saint. 5/5

In the Isles (In den Gängen)

Thomas Stuber

A warm, human and somber movie that contains a moderate critique of capitalism, but where the characters’ vulnerability, weakness and compliance to the latter prevent them from changing anything or getting somewhere. The characters of In the Isles have been pushed into a social periphery, where any hope of escaping is confined to safe, simple and capitalist-cultivated utopia. With different examples (violent marriage, loneliness, insecure coping), to which the film does not offer any solution, it suggests that there will be no better tomorrow. There are only two choices left for the characters – either to surrender or to accept the situation. In the Isles says that the unreachable utopian future fantasies are perhaps the most comforting ones because these are the only future fantasies that we have got. 3/5


Karyn Kusama

A genre movie with a strong visual part and a first-class acting (Nicole Kidman), although the scenario is mediocre and the epilogue predictable, even slightly melodramatic. However, Destroyer does not contain any pretentions attempts to come up with any innovative aspects. The film does not show such an ambition, and creating a carefully crafted and detailed atmosphere is preferred to the storytelling and its potential complexities. Destroyer is completely aware of its genre and does not deviate from it, but tries to make everything visually more convincing, more prominent and more cult film like in the frameworks of the genre. A small movie that is best enjoyed on a big screen. 4/5