My Wonderful Wanda
Wanda, Mein Wunder
Don’t be misled by its saccharine title: Bettina Oberli’s dramatic comedy is many things - intelligent, funny, caustic, beautifully directed, and very cleverly structured, to name a few - but sugary sweet isn’t one of them. Wanda (Agnieszka Grochowska, perfect), the Polish single mother of two boys back in Poland, works as the live-in caretaker of rich Swiss businessman Josef (André Jung), 70. Josef is recovering from a stroke at his sumptuous lakeside family villa, and Wanda, being a no-nonsense pragmatist, makes extra cash by servicing him sexually. When she becomes pregnant, the haute-bourgeois family - Josef’s wife Elsa (an amazing Marthe Keller), brittle daughter Sofie (Birgit Minichmayr, also great), and bird-loving son Gregi (Jacob Matschenz) - comes apart at the seams…
Winningly humane, especially for an often biting satire on the haves vis-à-vis the dignified have-nots, Oberli’s comedic drama is an astutely balanced (it is, indeed, "vis-à-vis" not "versus") consideration of themes of adoption, abandonment, and other universal family concerns. The great soundtrack adds another level to what is already a very pleasurable film.
"Nuanced and beautifully shot… My Wonderful Wanda’s strength lies in its direction, screenplay, biting satire and ensemble cast." Hel Harding-Jones, The Digital Fix
Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, VIFF 20
Includes an interview with Director Bettina Oberli
Agnieszka Grochowska, Marthe Keller, André Jung, Birgit Minichmayr, Jacob Matschenz, Anatole Taubman
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