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‘La Chimera’ Review: Josh O’Connor Digs Into Italy’s Past In Alice Rohrwacher’s Splendid And Mysterious New Drama – Cannes Film Festival

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A Chimera is something one tries to achieve but alas, never manages to find. It is the heart and soul of a quest in life, in different ways, for the cast of characters in writer/director Alice Rohrwacher’s beautiful new film La Chimera premiering today as one of the last entries in competition at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

It also happens to be one of the best. Rohrwacher, who has won prizes at Cannes for two previous films, 2014’s The Wonders (Grand Prix) and 2018’s Happy As Lazaro (Screenplay) and was nominated for an Oscar this year for her live action short Le Pupille, , is back with what I think is her best film yet, an adventure, an ethereal and spirtual journey, a love story even on different levels, and a heist movie like no other.

The latter refers to the center of action here as it is set in the 1980’s and deals with Italy’s notorious Tombaroli, a group of grave robbers who aim to live the easy life by taking from the dead, as it were, and digging up and invading cemeteries and tombs to steal treasures from bygone eras thousands of years old, mostly Etruscan, and sell them off to fences, notably here the mystery person known only as Spartaco.

The film begins as we meet Arthur (Josh O’Connor) riding a train into Italy, a foreigner possibly from the UK as he is referred to as “the Englishman” by a couple of characters.

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