Eye For Film >> Movies >> Lucia's Grace (2018) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Alba Rohrwacher is, if you'll pardon the pun, the saving grace of this oddly structured dramedy from Gianni Zanasi. Her performance keeps you with the film even when it seems to be attempting to strike out in several conflicting directions at once, as though Zanasi and co-writers Giacomo Ciarrapico, Michele Pellegrini and Federica Pontremoli couldn't quite find consensus over what to do with their basic premise.
Although basic is perhaps the wrong word for the major plot driver here, namely the appearance of the Virgin Mary to harried newly single mum and land surveyor Lucia (Rohrwacher). When she first claps eyes on the apparition (Hadas Yaron), she is convinced she's a refugee but it turns out Mary wants a church rather than swanky building called The Wave built on the land Lucia's looking at.
Lucia, whose faith is non-existent, soon finds herself becoming best of frenemies with Mary, as the Mother of God shows up all over the place - although nobody else can see her - and is happy to get physical to achieve what she wants. While it's a refreshing change for a film to centre on a female midlife crisis rather than a male one - the real crisis of faith Lucia is having is concerned with a lack of faith in herself - the various parts of the film never quite glue together. There's some fun to be had with Mary as an antagonist but the half of the story concerning The Wave itself is both confusing and underwritten.
The script is at its strongest when it deals with relationships in the real world, with scenes in which Rohrwacher, Elio Germano as her sparky ex and Rosa Vannucci as her daughter bounce off one another hitting both the comedy and family marks. Cinematographer Vladan Radovic does his best to add to the warm glow quotient with sunny lensing, but he has his work cut out with the CGI water ahead of the film's final act, which is badly integrated both in terms of its place in the plot and its poor visual rendering.
If only Zanasi and co had put a little more faith in the psychological elements of the screenplay rather than worshipping at the altar of cheap laughs.Reviewed on: 01 Aug 2018