After her mother dies while the family is holidaying on the Tuscan coast, vibrant 35-year-old Dafne (Carolina Raspanti, magnetic), a supermarket clerk with Down syndrome, finds traditional father and daughter roles reversed: it becomes very obvious, very quickly that it is her seriously depressed dad, Luigi (Antonio Piovanelli), who needs her support much more than she needs his. Trying to bring Luigi back from the brink of despair while simultaneously experiencing a measure of freedom she’s never had before, the self-deprecating, fast-talking Dafne surprises and delights while putting paid to any retrograde notions about the capabilities of those with Down syndrome.
For his part, director Federico Bondi makes great use of some gorgeous Tuscan locations – especially during a long winter walk that Dafne and her father take as a kind of pilgrimage to her mother’s grave – to create a tale of father-daughter love that is subtle, touching, and hopeful. But it is Raspanti’s fine performance that steals the show.
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
88 W Pender Street
600 Hamilton Street (at Dunsmuir)