La Chimera

Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy Rated: NR 130 min

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher, who grew up in Tuscany,  this playful retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice—wrapped in a B-movie adventure story—is soaked in magic realism and other mysteries. Josh O’Connor stars as Arthur, a just-out-of-jail British tomb raider returning to Italy to search for his missing lover, Beniamina. Easing back into his former life, he reconnects with his wayward crew of blackmarket tombaroli accomplices, and spends time with his lost love’s mother, Flora (Isabella Rossellini), a faded beauty who lives in a romantically decrepit old villa. Arthur isn’t interested in the artifacts, however; he’s searching for a legendary door to the underworld, and to Beniamina. Rohrwacher sets her  film in the 1980s, but La Chimera is both Fellini-esque (with a feminist message) and a spiritual throwback to the dreamy 1970s thrillers of Nicolas Roeg. Cinematographer Hélène Louvart (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always; A Vida Invisível) mixed 35mm and 16mm formats and aspect ratios to blend all those references, even the slapstick antics of the Keystone Cops, into the film’s look. A New York Times Critic’s Pick.



La Chimera sneaks up on you…It winds through a world that is both dreamy and touched by magic. Rohrwacher is a discreet virtuoso.” — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“O’Connor is a first-class Jean-Paul Belmondo-like brooder, until something trips him up and he beams like a little boy.” — Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle
directed by
Alice Rohrwacher
written by
Alice Rohrwacher, Carmela Covino, Marco Pettenello
Josh O'Connor, Carol Duarte, Vincenzo Nemolato, Isabella Rossellini
Italian, English
Italy, France, Switzerland