My Wonderful Wanda
Directed by: Bettina Oberli
Switzerland, 2020, 111m
In German with English subtitles
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Winner of awards at both Tribeca and Vancouver Film Festivals, My Wonderful Wanda is a sharp and fun satire of the haves and the have-nots, set against the backdrop of a gorgeous lakeside villa in Switzerland. At the story’s center is Wanda, a caretaker who has left her own small children with their grandparents at home in Poland, to look after Josef, the stroke-ridden patriarch of the wealthy Wegmeister-Gloor dynasty. Wanda is adept in navigating the tricky family dynamics between the two grown (if still childish) offspring and the elegant if controlling matriarch Elsa (Golden Globe® nominee Marthe Keller, Marathon Man), along with the sporadic intervention of animals stuffed or alive. But when an unexpected issue arises, family secrets come to light and arrangements must be made to try to appease everyone in this biting and revealing comedic drama. While My Wonderful Wanda exposes present-day realities of class injustice, thanks to writer-director Bettina Oberli’s empathetic lens, it is never less than a very human and fascinating Swiss delight.