“All we need’s a shack to live and sleep in.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… as does an ensuing scene in which Gramatica is giddy to discover spilled milk on her cottage floor:
… given that she can instantly turn it into a makeshift map of a village with a milk-river running through it. As she exclaims to Toto, “What a great big place the world is!”
Once Toto has grown up into a preturnaturally positive young man (Golisano):
… he continues to turn every challenge into an opportunity for gratitude and charity — starting with having his valise stolen by an impoverished man, then bunking with him in his freezing-cold, tent-like accommodations.
From there, Toto helps turn their local dump into a livable village, all while ensuring the children learn their multiplication facts by painting them on all the signs:
We root for Toto when he falls instantly in love with a sweet, mistreated servant (Brunella Bovo):
… and are disheartened by the persistent baddies eager to exploit the “disposable” masses:
Thankfully, Gramatica’s magical charm arrives at just the right moment to turn everything around — but to say more would spoil the story. This neo-realist fable remains an unusual treat, and is worth seeking out.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: