Pietro Marcello, one of contemporary cinema’s most versatile talents, follows his dramatic breakthrough Martin Eden with an enchanting period fable based on a beloved 1923 novel by Russian writer Alexander Grin. Beginning as the tale of a sensitive brute (Räphael Terry) who returns home from World War I to his rural French village to discover his wife has died and that he must take care of their baby daughter, Juliette, the film blossoms into a pastoral portrait of Juliette as a young woman (Juliette Jouan) reckoning with a local witch’s prophecy for her future and falling for the modern man (Louis Garrel) who literally drops from the sky. In his first film made in France, Marcello proves again he is as comfortable in the realm of folklore as he is in creative nonfiction, delicately interweaving realist drama, ethereal romance, and musical flights of fancy. – New York Film Festival
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