Italy, 2022, 97 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Emanuele Crialese, In Italian with English subtitles, Not Rated, Music Box Films
“A grand and vibrant work of art.” –Lena Wilson, TheWrap
“A sun-dappled nostalgia trip. Penélope Cruz is a vision of tragic beauty.” —Beatriz Loayza, The New York Times
“Cruz does some of the best work of her already incredible, multilingual career. To say director Emanuele Crialese’s camera falls in love with Cruz would be an understatement.” —Jose Solís, The Film Stage
Clara (Penélope Cruz) and her emotionally distant husband Felice (Vincenzo Amato) relocate to Rome to raise a family. Even though the paint is fresh, and the appliances are new, the crushing expectations around marriage, desire, and gender in the early 1970s remain as traditional as ever. Their children Andrew (played by newcomer Luana Giuliani), Gino, and Diana are likewise poised at a precipice, on the verge of adolescence, with nothing but their imaginations to defuse family tensions.
The eldest child, Andrew (nicknamed Adri by their parents), yearns for another life – an outsized, vibrantly-realized vision of a world where he gets to live as the boy he knows himself to be. Without an accepted vocabulary for talking about his transgender identity, Andrew tells adults that he’s an alien from another galaxy and makes a habit of running away to pursue a local Roma girl who accepts his boyhood at face value. As an outsider ostracized for her own eccentricities, Clara instinctively strives to protect her child despite not fully understanding him. An effortlessly moving film about growing up, fitting in, and breaking the mold, L’immensita is as freewheeling and creative as its central characters, mixing genres and staging musical numbers out of thin air.
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