Dir. Emanuele Crialese, Italy, 2022, 99 mins, subtitled. Cast. Penélope Cruz, Vincenzo Amato, Luana Giuliani.
A mesmerising Penélope Cruz proves once again that she is among the finest actors of her generation in this deeply personal coming-of-age drama. A vibrant and sun-drenched 1970s Rome belies the quiet desperation simmering inside Clara (Cruz), a woman trying to keep things upbeat for her children while trapped in an abusive marriage. Her eldest child, Adriana, idolises their fun-loving mother but feels trapped, albeit in the wrong body. While their father and his peers refuse to accept Adriana as Andrew, he is off falling for a girl on ‘the other side of the reeds’. All the while, Crialese movingly employs nostalgic Italian songs and joyous fantasy sequences as a contrast to the harrowing reality of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“the force of Cruz’s charisma — she’s like a cross between Sophia Loren and a solar flare” – Wendy Ide, Screen International
For detailed information about the film’s age rating and potential triggering contents, you can visit the BBFC website and search the film title, then scroll down to the “Content Advice” section: www.bbfc.co.uk