Stunning Visuals in Must-See Magical Realist Film | La Chimera Movie Review (VIENNALE ’23)

Stunning Visuals in Must-See Magical Realist Film | La Chimera Movie Review (VIENNALE ’23)

Chimera (noun) – an illusion or fabrication of the mind.

La Chimera is a 2023 Italian drama film written and directed by the Academy Award Nominee Alice Rohrwacher. The film stars Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country) and Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet, Enemy). It competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Credits: Viennale

A Fabrication of the Mind

The film tells the story of Arthur (O’Connor), a young Englishman who travels to Italy to work as a grave robber. The loss of his beloved Beniamina haunts him, and he believes that if he can find the legendary Etruscan artifact known as the Chimera, he can bring her back to life.

Arthur’s journey takes him to the heart of Tuscany, where he meets the women of the family who have been searching for the Chimera for generations. The women are led by Flora (Rossellini), a matriarchal figure who is both wise and compassionate.

Arthur is initially skeptical of the women’s beliefs, but he soon sees they deeply connect to the land and its spirits. He also develops a romantic relationship with Flora’s granddaughter, Italia.

As Arthur gets closer to the Chimera, he begins to experience strange visions and dreams. He also starts to question his sanity. However, he is determined to find the Chimera, no matter the cost.

La chimera, Alice Rohrwacher, Italy/France/Switzerland 2023, VIENNALE 2023 Features

Stunning Photography

Rohrwacher’s film is a visually stunning and deeply moving exploration of grief, loss, and the afterlife. The film is beautifully shot under the photography direction of award-winning cinematographer Hélène Louvart. The performances are all excellent. O’Connor is particularly good as Arthur, a man who is both lost and searching for redemption.

The film is also notable for its exploration of Italian culture and folklore. Rohrwacher creates a world that is both magical and mundane, where the boundaries between the living and the dead are blurred. The film is also a celebration of the natural world, and it contains some truly stunning shots of the Italian countryside.

 

Mixed Feelings

One of the things that makes La Chimera so special is its unique blend of genres. The film is part comedy, part drama, part magical realism, and part meditation on the afterlife. This blend of genres gives the film a unique and dreamlike quality.

Another thing that makes La Chimera so special is its characters. Arthur, Flora, and Italia are all complex and well-developed characters. The film explores their relationships with each other and with the world around them in a way that is both moving and thought-provoking.

La chimera, Alice Rohrwacher, Italy/France/Switzerland 2023, VIENNALE 2023 Features

CREDITS

  • Josh O’Connor
  • Carol Duarte
  • Isabella Rossellini
  • Alba Rohrwacher
  • Vincenzo Nemolato

  • Alice Rohrwacher

  • Hélène Louvart

  • Xavier Lavorel

  • Nelly Quettier

  • Emita Frigato
Tempesta, Rai Cinema, Ad Vitam Production, Amka Films

The Match Factory

Stadtkino Filmverleih

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