Happy as Lazzarro

Showing: Saturday 9th November at 11am 
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Cast: Adriano Tardiolo, Agnese Graziani, Alba Rohrwacher
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Runtime: 2h 7m
Cert: 12A

Imagine being so downright good that you are actually mistaken for being simpleminded. When all the positive tenets of humanity are misconceived, and your innate goodness is perceived by everyone else as an actual mental weakness that you suffer.

Written & directed by Alice Rohrwacher, this disarmingly simplistic and instantly likeable Italian drama focuses on the eponymous Lazzaro, an unceasingly kind peasant, whose good nature is blatantly exploited by a new-to-town tobacco baroness.  A meeting takes place between Lazzaro, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Life in their isolated pastoral village Inviolata is dominated by the terrible Marchesa Alfonsina de Luna, the queen of cigarettes. A loyal bond is, however, sealed between the two, when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping, and a plot is born to solve the de Luna problem once & for all.

Leisurely of pace, and full of exquisite Italian countryside scenery, this is a joyous fable that cleverly avoids sugary sentimentality, instead delivering acute human observation despite the romantic nature of the lead character. A morality tale writ large, Lazzaro is as acerbic as it is heart-warming.

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