Happy as Lazzaro

Happy as Lazzaro

Alice Rohrwacher (2018)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Writer/director Alice Rohrwacher has created a beguiling marvel that starts out like a bucolic fable produced by Ermanno Olmi or the Taviani brothers, before daringly morphing into a tale of urban realism that Pier Paolo Pasolini might have devised in reworking Pinocchio. The unwitting antihero at the centre of this transformation is Lazzaro (Adriano Tardiolo), who recalls the sort of put-upon naif played by Giulietta Masina in husband Federico Fellini's neorealist phase. Not only is Lazzaro callously exploited by his neighbours in the remote estate of Inviolata, but he's also cynically duped by the rebellious son of a tobacco-growing marchesa (Nicoletta Braschi), who has kept the villagers in unknowing servitude for years. Some may baulk at the audacious shifts in tone and place, but Rohrwacher's conviction helps to offset the seeming anachronisms that reflect with acerbic acuity on the Italian character and the nation's socio-economic travails. Rohrwacher's third feature is challenging, compelling and exceptionally played, while cinematographer Hélène Louvart's evocative use of a Super-16 format reinforces the mood of faux nostalgia.


In an isolated village dominated by a ruling aristocrat, an imaginative young noble strikes up a friendship with a gentle peasant. Seeing the opportunity to escape the rigid structure of his life, he asks his newfound friend to help him fake his own kidnapping. Drama, starring Adriano Tardiolo and Luca Chikovani. In Italian and English.

Cast & Crew

Lazzaro Adriano Tardiolo
Antonia Alba Rohrwacher
Tancredi Tommaso Ragno
Young Antonia Agnese Graziani
Young Tancredi Luca Chikovani
Ultimo Sergi Lopez
Nicola Natalino Balasso
Marchesa Alfonsina De Luna Nicoletta Braschi
Director Alice Rohrwacher
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Other Information

Language: Italian +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Modern FilmsGuidance: Some violence and swearingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 5 Apr 2019