Corpo Celeste

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Children, religion and lost innocence are longtime staples of Italian cinema, so kudos to neophyte director Alice Rohrwacher for finding fresh life in the configuration. On the eve of being confirmed within the Catholic Church, 13-year-old Marta (amazing newcomer Yle Vianello) struggles to make sense of both her contradictory faith and the adults eagerly stressing its importance. That puberty has thrown her into a state of corporeal confusion isn't helping, either. Rohrwacher's probing drama occupies a middle ground between caricature and outright creepiness, while its girl's-eye view of the world feels remarkably authentic in all the right ways. If Italy ever needed its own Lynne Ramsay, the country can stop looking now.—DF

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New York Film Festival 2011

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